LA Revilla may be dwarfed by a trio of giants who are set to dominate the coming PBA rookie draft, but the heady playmaker believes this year presents the “best opportunity” for him to move to the pros after helping lead the De De La Salle Green Archers to the UAAP championship.
The 5-foot-8 point guard had one more playing year in college and could have honed his skills playing with La Salle and avoided joining a draft pool teeming with accomplished players from the college ranks.
Instead, Revilla boldly signed his name on a list led by seven-footer Greg Slaughter, former NCAA MVP Ian Sangalang, Letran star center Raymond Almazan as well as Far Eastern University stars RR Garcia and Terrence Romeo and University of Santo Tomas’ Jeric Teng.
“Hindi naman ako ang nag-decide lang for myself, kasi humingi din naman ako ng advice. And I feel ito na ang best opportunity na mag-join ako (in the PBA draft),” Revilla told Spin.ph four days after beating the Friday deadline for rookie applicants.
Revilla said La Salle’s recent UAAP championship conquest this season against UST gave him the much-needed emotional and psychological lift going into the November 3 rookie draft.
“The (UAAP) championship is a highly-competitive game. It made me grow as a player and to play at such a big game (Game Three), confidence-wise, malaking bagay siya kasi we played at a high level,” explained the former San Beda Red Cub.
Revilla was the last among the record 85 rookie applicants to sign up for this year’s batch of PBA hopefuls looking to fulfill the dream of playing in Asia’s first play-for-pay league.
“I’m excited sa draft. I think to any team na kukuha sa akin, I believe I can contribute by setting up the team,” added the 23-year-old UAAP veteran guard, referring to his pass-first mentality.
His decision to turn pro leaves La Salle with two young guards to handle the playmaking chores when the Green Archers vie for back-to-back UAAP men’s basketball titles next year.
Sophomore guard Thomas Torres and rookie Kib Montalbo will now have to step up to the plate to fill the shoes left by Revilla.