Revilla's early departure a challenge to young La Salle guards
LA Revilla moves on to the pros, leaving coach Juno Sauler with few choices at point guard. Jerome Ascano

LA REVILLA’S sudden decision to apply in the coming PBA Draft will definitely affect De La Salle’s rotation, but coach Juno Sauler considers it a challenge to the young guards who will inherit the job as playmaker when the Green Archers vie for back-to-back UAAP men’s basketball title next year.

Still eligible to play for another year, Revilla on Friday opted to join the Draft, leaving the Archers with the choice of elevating as starter either second-year point guard Thomas Torres or rookie Kib Montalbo.

Sauler admitted though, the team will miss the experience of the pride of Bacolod especially after Revilla had a remarkable Final Four by averaging 17.5 points per game.

“The change will have an effect on the team,” said Sauler. “It will be a challenge for the younger guys to step up.”

Revilla was the last applicant from the 85 aspirants in rookie draft by beating Friday’s 5 p.m. deadline.

Sauler said based on Season 76, when he saw Revilla blossomed as a leader on and off the court, the young playmaker has a future in the pros, but added the diminutive point guard still has some work to do.

“LA has matured a lot this season. This maturity has prepared him to play in the pros. He has been one of our leaders in the team. The challenge for him will be how to accept new roles,” Sauler said.

After the Archers won the UAAP crown last week at the expense of University of Santo Tomas, Revilla said he will forever cherish his first and only title in the collegiate ranks.

“It’s something that I’m going to cherish for the rest of my life,” Revilla said. “It’s a dream of mine. Ngayon, it’s still unbelievable.”

After playing a huge part in the Archers’ Final Four showdown against Far Eastern University, Revilla struggled in the deciding Game Three of the Finals as he finished with just a point, but came in the dying moments of overtime when he split his charities for what turned out to be the marginal basket, 71-69.

“I was having an off game. It was hard that I wasn’t hitting my shots. Thankful ako na at least I was given a chance to redeem myself,” Revilla said.

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