GARVO Lanete is expected to get his baptism of fire with the national men's team after being inserted in the roster of Gilas Pilipinas for the Fiba-Asia Cup in Wuhan, China.
A member of the gold medal-winning Gilas cadets in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games, Lanete has been added to Gilas for this year’s Fiba-Asia Cup along with fellow cadet Kevin Alas, Jay Washington of GlobalPort, and Paul Lee and Beau Belga of Rain or Shine.
The five will replace Talk ‘N Text cagers Larry Fonacier and Jayson Castro, San Mig Coffee’s Marc Pingris, and Rain or Shine’s Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood.
The Gilas cadet hotshot said he is expected by national coach Chot Reyes to fill the hole left by Chan and Fonacier in the team, which is to hit the three-point shots for the Philippine team.
Lanete, known for his perimeter game en route to winning an MVP award in the 2014 PBA D-League Foundation Cup, said Reyes has informed him of his role in the team after Monday’s practice with the squad.
“Actually, mabigat nga ‘yung role kasi si Jeff at Larry ‘yung wala. Eh diba sila talaga ‘yung shooters natin,” Lanete told Spin.ph.
“Consistent sila. Medyo mabigat pero ayokong sayangin ‘yung opportunity na binigay sa akin. I’ll do my best para ma-fill ‘yung nawalang spot,” said the former San Beda Red Lion.
Lanete has expressed his intention to join the PBA draft this year after being one of the key pieces in NLEX’s late title run in the D-League before it joined the professional league by purchasing the Air21 franchise.
Lanete’s stock could also be boosted by his inclusion in the Gilas Pilipinas roster in Wuhan in a draft that should also include Alas as well as Fil-foreign guards Chris Banchero and Stanley Pringle.
But before jumping to the PBA, Lanete wants to savor the opportunity of playing with some of the best players in the pro ranks with Gilas in Wuhan.
“Thankful ako na kasama ako,” said Lanete, who last played with a Gilas Pilipinas-backed squad in the 2012 Jones Cup.
“Thankful ako na nakasama ko sila uli. At the same time, magandang experience para sa amin ito kasi iba talaga ‘yung international competition. Proud din ako dahil ma-rerepresent ko na naman ‘yung country.”