It’s hard to do a Loyalty Swap when you have Chico Lanete involved. In this season alone he has moved to three different teams. Honestly, the guy has been thrown around the league as if he is an unfortunate squatter who’s always in line for a demolition. Lanete is not at all bad. I’m pretty much saying that he is the Jim Jackson of the PBA. Alaska, Rain or Shine, and Talk N Text are now the only teams that Lanete hasn’t had a uniform (Note: Technically he has never played for Shopinas or their former genealogy Barako Coffee but since they have changed their names to Air21, then he has worn their kits).
Meanwhile, Marc Agustin is a rookie who let’s face it – used his name to get where he’s at now. Dad and Petron coach Ato Agustin got flak for signing his spawn but Marc Agustin proved the critics wrong because he is willing to learn and he wasn’t lazy on defense.
So who got the better on this trade?
For starters, both players will have a hard time breaking in the starting spot since both squads are stacked. For Marc Agustin, this is the right time to prove to everyone that he is not just Ato Agustin's son. He can defend - which is an important asset and at times, can be bullish enough to go strong to the hole. However, my privilege arrow goes to Chico Lanete and the Petron Blaze Boosters. While Agustin could contend for minutes in the SG position with the exodus of Dylan Ababou and the struggles of Jimbo Aquino at the Barako Bull Energy camp, Lanete is expected to fill the void left by Chris Lutz who is now out of the conference because of injury. While the triumvirate of Alex Cabagnot, Denok Miranda, and Joseph Yeo are expected to get the bulk of the backcourt’s minutes, Lanete is a combo guard that can give Ato Agustin the firepower that Lordy Tugade is failing to give. Even with the acquisition of former Powerade Tiger and ABL-San Miguel Beerman RJ Rizada, Lanete will get the nod more since he is more polished in almost all aspects.
One thing though – I seriously think that Lanete will not last in the Petron camp. His PBA career has been horrible in the sense that no team is giving him long-term trust. Just a few weeks ago, Meralco traded him to Barako Bull for Paul Artadi and now this. He’s either a trade bait or a key free agent signing. Either way, Lanete will see little exposure once Chris Lutz re-appears and Dondon Hontiveros somewhat makes it this season.
By this time, Lanete will again be expendable.
The good news for Lanete is that Mikee Romero still has a team and will likely get his former star player to boost his ABL team, the Air-Asia Philippine Patriots.
But then again maybe Alaska, Rain or Shine, and Talk N Text could sign him and once he completes playing for all ten teams, he will be the first player to do so.
Let’s just make a negative position a positive one.