NLEX said it was a no brainer to select Garvo Lanete with the sixth pick in the 2015 PBA Rookie Draft.
Head coach Boyet Fernandez said Lanete was one of the first players to see action since NLEX became part of the PBA D-League, so it was just natural for the Road Warriors to select one of the pioneers of the team.
Incidentally, Lanete was one of the players NLEX tried to bring up directly from its D-League team when it joined the league. But the Road Warriors failed to get the concessions they sought as a new team.
NLEX eventually bought the Air21 franchise while Lanete stayed on as an amateur.
“Since nag-start ang NLEX, nandiyan na siya. Sino pa ang kukunin namin? He has been part of NLEX since the beginning,” said Fernandez.
Fernandez also said Lanete was the best available talent when their turn came at sixth overall, correctly predicting that Barangay Ginebra won't touch the former San Beda guard at No. 5.
“Sa bilang ko, Gabo will be sixth. With coach Tim, the way he coaches, alam kong hindi niya kukunin si Garvo,” said Fernandez.
The 26-year-old Lanete said the long wait to turn pro was worth it.
“Sobrang saya ko kasi ‘yung team ko sa D-League, ‘yun din ang team ko ngayon,” said Lanete. “’Yung familiarity, malaking bagay sa akin ‘yun. It’s easier na maka-adjust sa team."
Fernandez said Lanete is far more experienced than most rookies, adding he is glad to bring in an extra shooter that can open up the floor for its bigs like Asi Taulava.
“Hindi na siya rookie. He is an experienced player. Wala kaming outside shooter. Now that he is with us, he can spread the floor,” said Fernandez.