MANILA – For their first game in the professional league, Kia Sorentos managed to get away from the Blackwater Elite, 80-66, during the opening of PBA Season.
The game also was Filipino boxing champ Manny Pacquiao’s debut as a playing coach.
With LA Revilla making a comeback after being dumped by Globalport last year, he made 23 points to carry his team. Together with Rudy Lingganay and Hans Thiele, they managed to make up for the slow start of Pacquiao, Virgil Buensuceso, Josh Webb, Reil Cervantes and Rich Alvarez.
The Sorentos were trailing by nine, 25-34, during the half but they managed to turn the game around during the third quarter.
Revilla gave the Sorentos’ the much-needed push during the third canto with two triples and four baskets.
“We made the adjustments, and the result just happened,” said Revilla. “I just played my game and I was overwhelmed by the moment,” he added.
“The team just stayed positive even after our tentative start,” said Kia assistant coach Glenn Capacio. “We were a bit hesitant at first, but we were able to make the necessary adjustments on defense. When it clicked, our offense followed.”
After his team’s impressive debut game, Pacquiao said that he will now prepare for his upcoming fight with Christ Algieri and will return to PBA after.
“No problem (with Kia) as our assistant coaches will be there. It’s okay with me even as I don’t play for as long as we keep on winning,” Pacquiao said.
During its first game, Kia played with Pacquiao sitting on the bench.