#PBA2015 Roster Review: The Kia Sorento

With the 2014-2015 PBA season’s official rosters released, I found it only logical to look at each line-up and see where each team stands. In this series of posts, I’ll be breaking down each team’s bigs, wings, and floor generals while also looking at what kind of damage they’ll do this season.

Let’s look at roster of the Kia Sorento.

Can this team of novelty be a team of winners?

Overall 2013-2014 Record: Not applicable.

Best Finish: Not applicable.

BIGS: Hans Thiele, Chad Alonzo, Rich Alvarez, Reil Cervantes, Angelus Raymundo, Mike Burtscher
- The very first game of the 40th season of the PBA showed us all how second chances can bring out the best in people. Prior to this season, many PBA hoop nuts probably thought both Hans Thiele and Reil Cervantes were to Arwind Santos/Ranidel De Ocampo in the same way Class A kicks are to the originals. Day one of the 2014-2015 season proved this to be right. On a team lacking the depth of the glamor squads of the pros, Kia had to lean on Thiele and Cervantes for their frontcourt punch. Luckily, both guys delivered. The caveat, of course, is that this was against MAYBE the shallowest team they’ll face all season. I highly doubt Kia’s frontline can hold up against the bigs of other more-established franchises.

Coach Glenn Capacio will have to rely on Hans Thiele heavily this season.
(image by Pranz Kaeno Billones/Sports 5)

- It was, however, nice to see former UAAP MVP and top overall draft pick Rich Alvarez strut his stuff again. He’s no longer as spry as he once was, but he still has great timing, as proven by his THREE blocked shots. True to form, he didn’t do much else in his 25 minutes of action, but if he averages 4 points and 4 boards per game this season, then that means he’s already bested his numbers in the past 6 years.

Reil Cervantes is another vital cog for the Sorento.
(image by Pranz Kaeno Billones/Sports 5)

WINGS: Kenneth Ighalo, Eder Saldua, Joshua Webb, Paul Sanga, Alvin Padilla
- Judging from the first game, it seems Eder Saldua, Ken Ighalo, and Alvin Padilla will probably get the bulk of the action on the wings. None of those guys can consistently make an impact in the PBA, of course, but at least they have enough swag to compete. Kia will struggle mightily against the Calvin Abuevas, Gary Davids, and James Yaps of the PBA, but at least it’s a struggle that might net high TV ratings. Oh well, I said MIGHT, okay?

FLOOR GENERALS: LA Revilla, Rudy Lingganay, Manny Pacquiao, JR Buensuceso
- LA Revilla had the stat-line of the game with 23 points and 6 rebounds while shooting 10/15 from the field and 50% from downtown. Does that make him a bona fide All-Star? Hell, no, but at least we know there’s someone on Kia’s roster who can heat up in a pinch. I doubt he’ll be able to consistently drop double-digit games, especially when he squares off against the likes of LA Tenorio, Jayson Castro, or Mark Barroca, but, hey, don’t sleep on this kid’s heart. Much like his maligned playing coach, Revilla will fight to the end, and what an end it will be. The same can be said for both Lingganay and Buensuceso, who put up decent numbers on day one, but will probably have to eat the dirt of the PBA’s more established guards. Hey, nobody said it would be easy, right?

LA Revilla shocked the PBA with his 23-6 stat-line against Blackwater.
(image by Josh Albelda/Rappler)

Final Word: Underdogs
- With a playing coach who, after his debut, will still have to worry about pro boxing matches and attending the Philippine Congress, Kia’s future rotations will probably have a little more stability. The trade-off, though, will come in Manny Pacquiao’s inspiring and enthralling presence. Admit it, his mere “being there” is enough to spike the energy in Kia’s players. Without him, however, coach Glenn Capacio and his wards are little more than newly-minted underdogs.

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