MANILA, Philippines – Nothing but tough love.
Garvo Lanete has been scolded for a ton of mistakes, but in NorthPort's semifinal duel against Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Governors' Cup, he made sure to hear nothing but praise from coach Pido Jarencio.
Lanete delivered the finishing kick the Batang Pier needed as they shredded the Gin Kings to pieces in a 124-90 annihilation to draw first blood in the best-of-five affair on Saturday, December 14.
Scoring just 3 points in the first 3 periods, the Ormoc City native opened the floodgates with 21 points in their 46-point fourth-quarter charge.
"I'm thankful for coach Pido because he always gives me confidence even if he always curses me," Lanete said in a mix of Filipino and English.
"He always curses me but my confidence stays the same because even if he curses you, he will joke with you right after."
The Gin Kings did their best, but Lanete just could not be contained as he stole the spotlight in the final quarter.
He opened the payoff period with 7 straight points for an 88-72 advantage before draining 3 straight three-pointers in the final two minutes to stretch their lead to 122-85 – their biggest of the game.
All in all, Lanete shot 9-of-12 from the field and a scorching 6-of-9 from long range, doing so in just 15 minutes off the bench for the Batang Pier.
Even he was in awe of his torrid shooting display.
"I told my teammates I can't believe I already had 24 points. I just hope to be consistent. Whatever minutes I play in this team as long as I can help them, [I'm okay with it]," Lanete said.
Getting the next two wins, though, would be an uphill climb for NorthPort with Tim Cone and Barangay Ginebra expected to bounce back with guns blazing.
"We have to prepare for next game because knowing Ginebra, they adjust really well. So we have to be ready for it," Lanete said.
Game 2 is on Monday, December 16, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.