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Garvo Lanete makes first-ever Finals start worth it



Earlier in the 2017 Governors’ Cup Finals, it was Reynel Hugnatan who had shone for the Meralco Bolts. And just when they thought they would not find another one to deliver as the series progressed, Garvo Lanete suddenly showed up.

The 28-year-old shooter — even if he and his team had Game Five last Sunday — managed to stand out among the locals, as he had been alone in providing help for import Allen Durham, with 11 points off the bench spiked by three triples.

That commendable showing was enough to earn him his first-ever start in the series in Game Six, Wednesday. And the former San Beda Red Lion did not waste the rare opportunity given to him by head coach Norman Black.

The six-foot-two swingman from Ormoc, Leyte proved to be pivotal in Game Six, helping the Orangemen extend the series with 98-91 win by producing 15 points on a notable 55 percent shooting, going 3-of-5 from beyond the arc.

“Thankful ako na yung opportunity na binigay sa akin hindi ko nasayang. Hopefully next game, ganun ulit,” shared the sophomore after the match.

“Isa yun sa mga adjustments namin na nag-start ako off of Baser [Amer].”

But the four-time NCAA champion did not take all the credit for Wednesday night’s victory. For Lanete, that they forced the rubber match was made possible by the locals’ effort to step up when needed the most.2017 PBA Governors Cup Finals Game 6 - Meralco def Ginebra - Chris Newsome

“Sinasabi namin, law of average. Parang, it’s about time na we make our shots eh. Ilang games din kami na si Papa Rey lang ang consistent so kailangan namin mag-step up,” said Lanete, who is now averaging 8.3 points in the series.

“Ako, si New (Chris Newsome), si Baser, si JD (Jared Dillinger). Good thing, ayun, tonight I made my shots and si Papa Rey still consistent.”

The Bolts now have a chance to win the franchise’s first-ever PBA crown in Game Seven on Friday. Lanete revealed that he is eager heading into the match, but he does not forget that a lot of work has to be done for them to reach their goal.

“Nakaka-excite. We’re happy about the win today but iiwan namin yung happiness dito sa dugout,” he said.

“Kasi bukas, it’s another day and focus on Game Seven na. First time [ko], nakaka-excite at sana ganito ulit laruin namin.”