MANILA, Philippines – Chico Lanete proved that San Miguel is not just about its star-studded starting 5 as he helped the Beermen return to the winning track.
The seldom-used Lanete, who was a surprise starter in place for the injured Alex Cabagnot, repaid Leo Austria’s faith by submitting 14 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in San Miguel’s 77-76 win over the Magnolia Hotshots’ Sunday, February 4, at the Ynares Center.
The 38-year-old knocked down 4 triples in almost 23 minutes of action, with the most important of all coming with 1:34 minutes left in the game that gave San Miguel a 73-71 advantage, a lead the Beermen protected until the end to overtake the Hotshots for first place with a 6-1 card.
“Binigyan lang talaga ako ng tiwala ni coach. Sinuklian ko naman ‘yun para magamit ulit next game,” said Lanete.
(Coach just trusted me and I returned that trust so I can be used again next game.)
Lanete joined Brian Heruela and Matt Ganuelas-Rossers among the crop of San Miguel’s hidden gems that head coach Leo Austria is utilizing to soothe the absence of Cabagnot, who missed his 3rd straight game due to a foot injury.
In the past 6 games, the 11-year veteran never reached the double-digit mark and did not play in two games. So when his name was called, Lanete, who tried out for his roster spot during the offseason, made every minute count and recorded a plus-minus of +12, the highest among all San Miguel players.
“Sa totoo lang ang laki talagang bagay ni Alex sa team. Itong binigay sa akin na opportunity, grab ko talaga to. We pray na pagbalik ni Alex, 100% na ulit lahat kami sa team.
(Honestly, Alex really plays a big role for this team. This opportunity that is given to me, I gladly grabbed it. We pray that when Alex returns, we become 100% again as a team.)
With Cabagnot expected to miss 3 more weeks, there is a possibility Lanete will still see significant minutes as the Beermen lock horns against the Blackwater Elite on February 9 at the Cuneta Astrodome. – Rappler.com
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