IF you see Garvo Lanete working doubly hard these days to make an impression with NorthPort in the PBA, it's because he draws inspiration and motivation from his American girlfriend and soon-to-be wife Shelby Pearl.

The coming year should be an exciting journey for the couple, who plan to get married in June 2020.

Shelby shared to SPIN Life that since they're from very different fields and backgrounds, it took a lot of patience, as well as encouragement, to keep the relationship since they first met in a beach in La Union.

"We met at the beach in La Union," she said. "I was a volunteer here in the Philippines and I went on vacation with my friends while he was also went there with his teammates."

Shelby said she ended up staying in the country, working as a teacher.

“We would always support each other. [We need to] be patient and understanding [with] one another, [without] getting frustrated easily,” she said when asked about the secret of their relationship.

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    A trip overseas earlier this year would take their relationship to a new level.

    "After my contract was over as a volunteer, I stayed here to continue our relationship. We went to Disney World in April and that's where he proposed," the 25-year-old said.

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    Lanete, 30, won four championships during his time with San Beda in the NCAA and won two Southeast Asian Games gold medals as part of the Gilas cadets before being drafted in the first round of the 2015 PBA Rookie Draft by NLEX.

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    He has struggled to break through in the pro ranks but is now relishing a fresh chance at NorthPort, where he scored 21 of his 24 points in the final quarter of the Batang Pier's victory over Ginebra in the ongoing PBA Governors' Cup semifinals.

    But no matter what happens on the court, Garvo knows Shelby will always be there to support him.

    “I watch every game, even after work. I’m pretty calm watching because I know what he’s capable of."

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    Even in the down times on the court. Shelby also knows exactly what to do to help Lanete get over his post-game stress.

    “I just listen to his frustrations, I don’t try to give him tips because I know he is a professional and he knows what he’s doing. He’s been working hard for his team,” she shared.

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