Bill Walker admits absence of ailing Garvo Lanete took its toll on NLEX
NLEX import Bill Walker says he had to deal with a lot of double, triple teams in the absence of streak-shooting gunner Garvo Lanete. Jaime Campos

BILL Walker admitted he missed the presence of Garvo Lanete in NLEX’s 100-85 loss to Alaska in their last game in the elimination round of the PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday night.

Lanete, who averaged 23 points on a scorching 61.1-percent shooting from beyond the arc in just 18.9 minutes off the bench in the last two games, was out with fever and tonsillitis.

“I know he goes out there and spaces the floor tremendously for us … three flicks of the wrist and we can have nine points that quick,” Walker said of the rookie gunner. “Just that threat of having him out there makes defenses play honest.”

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“Today, there was a lot of doubles, triples, trying to get the ball out of my hands, so we missed that guy out there,” added the NBA veteran, who still scored 29 points, although he shot a sub-par 10-of-21 clip from the field in 44 minutes.

“It kind of messed up our rotation a bit,” Walker continued. “But I just want to let him know how much of a part of this team he is that he plays a huge role even though he comes off the bench. He’s very important for us. Hopefully it’s nothing serious.”

The rest of the NLEX guards were also virtually non-existent as starter Kevin Alas was held scoreless after missing all his eight shots in 20 minutes, while backcourt partner Jonas Villaneuva and Asian import Rodrigue Akl combined for just seven points.

NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez said they will let Lanete rest for the next two days, before having him checked out.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos