GARVO Lanete finally validated his status as a lottery pick in the last PBA Draft after breaking out of his shell in NLEX’s 106-99 win over Star on Saturday night in a Commissioner’s Cup road game in Biñan, Laguna.
The rookie gunner, the sixth overall pick in the 2015 Draft, played his best game in the pros, pumping in 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting, including three made three-pointers to emerge as the Road Warriors’ top local scorer against the Hotshots.
“I embraced lang the opportunity that was given to me,” said Lanete, who also had two rebounds, one steal, and one block in 25 minutes off the bench. “And my coaches and teammates trusted me.”
“Buti na lang nasuklian ko ng maganda,” he added.
Lanete capped off his torrid shooting with a right-corner jumper in transition that gave NLEX a 100-91 cushion, enough to weather a late comeback by the Hotshots.
The breakout performance also proved he has fully recovered from knee injuries that have delayed his jump to the pros.
NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez knew it was just a matter of time before his prized freshman would finally make his mark.
“Garvo will always be my shooter,” said Fernandez, who also handled Lanete in the D-League. “We always wanted him to be in our team, so he can spread the floor for Asi (Taulava).”
Lanete also complemented import Al Thornton, who tallied 35 points and 10 boards against Star.
“If Garvo’s there, they’ll have a hard time doubling Asi and Al,” Fernandez said. “He’s taking his shots well right now.”
“I’m happy that he’s back,” he added.