With key cogs down for Meralco, Garvo Lanete expected a bigger responsibility in its game against Phoenix on Wednesday.
“We had to step up because we don’t have Jared (Dillinger) and we don’t have Cliff (Hodge). So when we lost to NLEX, coach was firm in telling us that we had to treat this game as a championship game,” he said.
The Ormoc native also put pressure in himself to churn out a better showing after turning 29 on Tuesday.
Fittingly, Lanete lit up for a career second-best 24 points on a 4-of-9 three-point shooting to lead Meralco to a tight 92-90 victory over Phoenix that kept them alive in the playoff race in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup.
“I’m just lucky and I thank Lord for that,” said the former San Beda sniper, who is always prepared whenever coach Norman Black calls his number.
Lanete shared the spotlight with his peers who are trying their best to make the Bolts run despite the injuries that beset the squad.
“Every practice, the coaches have been telling me to not hesitate in shooting the ball. And it’s not just me, but the same with my teammates because we all stepped up. Me, Jason Ballesteros, Anjo Caram, Chris Newsome, Nico Salva, and of course, Cliff Hodge. Every game, we always have that same mentality.”
With Meralco keeping afloat at 3-6, there’s not much room for error for the Bolts, especially with their Governors’ Cup Finals rematch set against Ginebra on Sunday.
“It’s the same, we’ll have a championship game mindset,” he said. “Yes, we’re excited for the rematch, but we’ll treat that as a regular game. We just have to win.”
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