LA Revilla found a new home in Phoenix after Kia agreed to trade him for the Fuel Masters’ Jayson Grimaldo. The latter is Phoenix’s second-round pick this year and the team’s second-round pick in next year’s Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Rookie Draft.
After criticizing Picanto for sending their top pick to San Miguel Beer last month in a controversial trade, Revilla was placed by Kia on the trading block and the franchise did not wait long to get a team interested on the services of the former La Salle playmaker.
“I really like Jayson (Grimaldo) but I realized that we still need a small playmaker for our perimeter team. LA is also a good fit to my system because he’s familiar with trapping defense since he played for La Salle,” newly appointed Fuel Masters head coach Louie Alas told The Manila Times in a phone interview.
Revilla, who attended Phoenix’s practice on Wednesday, will join Gelo Alolino and combo guard RJ Jazul in the backcourt rotation.
Revilla was GlobalPort’s third round pick in 2013 and was part of the Kia franchise that debuted in the league the following year. Since then, the five-foot-six guard has been the face of the squad with his consistent performance.
But a cryptic tweet from him last month did not go well with Kia’s management.
Revilla, in his tweet, questioned the team’s motive in trading its No. 1 pick Christian Standhardinger with the Beermen’s three key players and a future pick.
Meanwhile, Kia head coach Chris Gavina was impressed with Grimaldo’s athleticism, saying that he’ll go along well with the team’s “unconventional type of play.”
“With the way he puts the ball on the floor in his first day of practice today, he shows a lot of athleticism although he’s a raw talent. But if he gains experience, he will be good in the future,” Gavina told The Times in separate interview. “I think he is good for our player development.”