in Basketball, GoArchers

LA Revilla: A Hero’s Comeback

Two years away from the limelight has been pretty long, a lot has happened, and many had probably forgotten him.

But now, he is back, stronger and better than before.

LA Revilla, playing like he had never been away, and showing the ability and determination that we all saw 3 years ago when he was just a rookie, unexpectedly emerged as the floor leader of the De La Salle Green Archers’ battles against Far Eastern University Tamaraws and Ateneo de Manila University.

“I’ve learned a lot even by just watching the games in the past seasons,” he said in an exclusive interview. “Now, I know that I have to be more vocal, place my team in a good position and act mature inside and even outside the court.”

Kudos to him, “All Out. All Heart,” is becoming more and more of an apt theme for UAAP Season 74.

On fire

Picking up where he left off against FEU, the 5’8″ playmaker made another splash in his second game last Saturday, managing to help guard a hot Kiefer Ravena, at the same time taking care of ball distribution  to keep DLSU in the game in the first quarter.

He then impressed the wild and roaring crowd of Blue and Green as he mixed up his playmaking while scoring 7 points to trim down their foes’ lead to only 13 points.

With his teammates unable to consistently put the ball in the hoop, Revilla stepped up his scoring in the second half, contributing 5 points in the 3rd before putting in 10 in a last ditch attempt to turn the tide. To no avail. Revilla was the only Archer to finish in double-digits with 22 points, slightly better than his performance in the first game against FEU where he contributed 18 markers.

Small but versatile

Pint-sized Revilla acted not only as a sharpshooter but also a rebounder the past two games, averaging 5 boards per game despite his size while behemoth Norbert Torres and skipper Simon Atkins had 12 rebounds apiece. He proved that he’s no defensive slouch when he also managed to block ADMU’s Emman Monfort in the last minutes of the third quarter.

The former San Beda Red Cub has been the most effective offensive player so far and has done a superb job of acting as the point guard with eight assists. Some might see his being the Archers’ top scorer as being contrary to his role as chief ball distributor and playmaker. But Revilla has proven that he can do both – get his teammates involved while carrying the scoring load when the other scorers are unable to contribute.

“We didn’t have much intensity, we were just matching theirs,” Revilla shared after the FEU game. “Not everyone contributed well. We have to play effective basketball. I think, it’s the only way we’re going to win.” And according to him, that was the whole story why they lost to the Tamraws on their season opener.

One family, one goal

In a pre-season interview, Revilla noted that the Green Archers are like one family. So, when everything is not going well inside th team, especially right now, he said that no other people would help them grow as a team but themselves.

“We are literally like family . We have our coaches as our parents and we, players as their children,” he shared. “We’re brothers in and out the court. We care for each other. We criticize one another in a good way to help us become mature as players.”

He is surprisingly considered one of the veteran players, which he takes to heart as he also reminds the rookies of what they should do and focus on. The good thing about Revilla, though he’s primarily not the leader of the team, he has the initiative to act like one.

Animo 

“We’ve been always strong, the problem is we couldn’t finish.”

Though DLSU have gone into a surprising 0-2 start, Revilla and the rest of the squad are more than hopeful that they’ll be able to turn the tables around and prove the critics wrong in their upcoming game against the University of the Philippines this Saturday.

The Green Archers have their fingers crossed by now, hoping that they could again regain the domintaion they had four years ago and redeem themselves in the eyes of their supporters.

Even they’re at the bottom of the standings together with UE, Revilla, like the rest of his teammates still have that fighting spirit to move forward; something that the DLSU Green Archers, despite their initial setbacks, have never lost.