LA Revilla happy to be with Phoenix, no regrets blasting KIA management for ‘unconventional’ trade

ByJay King

New Phoenix recruit LA Revilla has revealed some details about his conflict with his former team, Kia Picanto, saying his last meeting with the team’s management before he was eventually traded “wasn’t pleasant for both parties.”

The 27-year-old point guard from Bacolod City underscored that he still does not regret having posted a tweet where he vented his disgust about Kia’s decision to give away the top pick overall in the recent PBA Rookie Draft to San Miguel Beer. That trade allowed the Beermen to grab overall top draft pick Christian Standhardinger in exchange for three bench players and a 2019 draft pick.

In his Oct. 27 post on Twitter, Revilla wrote: “Kung magpapalusot man lang sana ginandahan niyo na ang rason. Hindi talaga eh. Bagsak kayo sigurado kung may lie detector.”

That tweet angered Kia management, which immediately placed Revilla on the trading block even though he was the face of the franchise, the only Kia player to be included in an All-Star PBA selection, and the only remaining member of the team’s original roster when it entered the PBA in 2014.

Phoenix quickly grabbed the prized point guard in exchange for its 2017 draft pick Jason Grimaldo and a future draft pick.

Looking back, the 5’7” playmaker admitted that the momentous tweet he made was a mistake but that he has no regrets in having done it, adding that it was “part of growing up.”

“I’m not taking away anything from Kia. For me I want to go to the next stage,” he told Philstar.com. “Again, nothing against Kia. It’s just a matter of moving on moving forward.”

Revilla suggested that he was just fed up with Kia’s penchant for giving away top players in exchange for bench warmers and unknowns, prompting him to make the tweet.

“I just have to move on. Lahat naman nagkakamali. For me, if not now, then when, di ba? I’m happy where I am at right now. No regrets,” he stressed.

He revealed that he met with Kia’s management to discuss the matter before he was traded to Phoenix. “It wasn’t pleasant for both parties. But I had to do what I had to do,” he said.

Revilla said he is adjusting well to his new team, where he is reuniting with his former Dela Salle buddy and teammate Jason Perkins, who has been signed up by Phoenix following this year’s draft.

The two helped Dela Salle with the UAAP basketball crown in 2014.

Revilla said he expects his stint with Phoenix to “add up to my knowledge and experience growing wise—being a professional basketball player and an individual.”

Kia was actually not Revilla’s first team in the PBA. He was picked 24th overall in the third round by GlobalPort Batang Pier in the 2013 PBA draft. However, he played just three games with the Batang Pier, playing alongside Sol Mercado, and fellow draftees RR Garcia and Terrence Romeo.

After just one conference, GlobalPort released him. Revilla then played for the Cagayan Rising Suns in the PBA D-League. He later joined the tryouts for the expansion team Kia Sorento, eventually winning a spot in the team during the 2014–2015 PBA season.

Revilla scored a career-high 23 points in his first game for Kia, which defeated Blackwater in the two teams’ season debut at the Philippine Arena.


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