CHICO Lanete proved his worth in his first start for San Miguel, playing big in a 77-76 victory over Magnolia that brought the Beermen back to the top of the PBA Philippine Cup standings on Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
While almost all of his teammates misfired from the field, Lanete was a model of efficiency as he finished with 14 points on 5-10 shooting to go along four rebounds, four assists and four steals against a single turnover in nearly 23 minutes of action.
“Every timeout sinasabi ni coach na 'wag kami makisabay sa Magnolia kasi hindi talaga kami mananalo. So step-by-step lang kami. Ang naging focus ko lang ay yung role ko kaya thank God, nangyari,” the journeyman guard said.
Lanete also stepped up in the clutch as he put the Beermen ahead for good, 73-71, with a three from the left wing with 1:34 left in the game.
Off a timeout, Lanete was re-inserted by coach Leo Austria and he delivered, turning a pass from a double-teamed June Mar Fajardo into the three-pointer that shifted the momentum in the Beermen's favor.
“Timing yung pagpasok namin sa kanya off a timeout, kasi with Matt Rosser, the defense is sagging off so nahihirapan si June Mar sa post,” Austria explained.
With Alex Cabagnot still out, the 38-year-old veteran hopes the performance would be enough to convince Austria to call his number more.
“Binigyan lang talaga ako ng tiwala ni coach. Sinuklian ko naman yun para magamit ulit next game,” Lanete said with a laugh.