In a team that’s loaded with veteran players, Chico Lanete is making a mark for Barako Bull early in its PBA Commissioner’s Cup campaign.
The shooting guard out of Lyceum has stepped up the plate in coach Koy Banal’s “equal scoring opportunity” system, delivering the telling blows for the Energy with relative ease.
The 35-year-old Lanete actually led Barako Bull’s blazing offense on its first game for the tournament, firing 19 points and serving as the team’s catalyst to smash import-less expansion team Blackwater last Wednesday, 92-70.
But Lanete wasn’t done.
Four days later, the sweet-shooting gunner from Ormoc City scored 17 points while leading the team’s short, but pivotal 7-0 blitz in the final period to help the Energy score a thrilling 69-68 escape act against crowd-drawer Barangay Ginebra Kings on Sunday in Biñan, Laguna.
The 5-foot-11 Lanete’s two-game exploits earned him the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week citation for the period of Jan. 27-Feb.1, beating out Gary David of Meralco and Jayson Castro of Talk ‘N Text.
The back-to-back victories to open the tournament also propelled the Energy to an early share of the lead with Meralco Bolts and Talk ‘N Text.
Banal described Lanete as the team’s “energy player” who brings the spark for the team every time Barako Bull needs a lift.
“Iba yung enthusiasm ni Chico. He’s our energy guy and his energy sure rubs off sa mga players and even sa coaches,” Banal said in praising the battle-scarred Lanete.
Banal knows the tournament is still at its young stage, but with Lanete working along well with import Solomon Alabi and other Barako Bull veterans like Sol Mercado, Paolo Hubalde, Willy Wilson and Jondan Salvador, he believes the Energy have a strong fighting chance of contending for the Commissioner’s Cup. (RD)
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