CALAMBA – An undrafted player who became a three-time PBA champion, Chico Lanete simply wanted to serve as an inspiration to the Uling Roasters Butuan City team through hard work.
Playing 3×3 basketball was in Lanete’s bucket list, confident that he could still get along with the young players in the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup powered by TM.
As Butuan City finally claimed the leg championship with a 21-20 win over Pasig Sta. Lucia Sunday at the INSPIRE Sports Academy bubble here, Lanete showed satisfaction that he can compete on 3×3.
“Sinasabi ko sa kanila to be aggressive palagi. Binibigyan ko rin sila ng good example sa kanila. Sinasabi ko sa kanila, kung kaya ko, kaya rin nila. Keep working hard lang dahil alam kong may papatunayan pa sila,” said Lanete, a former Lyceum of the Philippines University star.
Franky Johnson, who was misfiring for most of the match, came alive in the moment that mattered most, drilling in a two-pointer off Jeckster Apinan that capped Butuan City’s undefeated run in the third leg.
Of course, it was the veteran who kept Butuan City’s head in the game after a second place run behind powerhouse Zamboanga City Family’s Brand Sardines in Leg 1, and a third place finish in Leg 2.
It was challenging Leg 3 for Butuan City, which overcame Bacolod-Master Sardines, 21-18, in the semifinals, but the team’s effort was worth it.
“Sinasabi ko sa kanila lagi, wag niyo i-doubt yung sarili niyo kasi may chance pa tayo,” the 40-year old Lanete said, out of breath, but full of life after helping his team win the title.
“Alam naman naming puwedeng-puwede pa kaming bumawi at ito na nga yung resulta,” he added.
Johnson, who is among the country’s top 10 3×3 players, praised Lanete for being the glue that stuck Butuan City together.
“We are just taking game by game. We don’t look too far ahead. I can see from his (Lanete) eyes that he wanted it more today. Like today was his day. Playing great all day, as well as the rest of my teammates,” said Johnson.
“As for the hardwork part, we just come out here and work hard in every single game we can. We can’t come out any game relaxed or think we can’t win. We have to take seriously and we can’t underestimate everybody. We respect all these teams,” he added.
Lanete and Johnson teamed up for 14 points in the clincher.
Despite the Finals loss, it was an impressive third leg showing still for the Realtors, who shattered Zamboanga City’s myth of invincibility by ending their foes’ 12-game winning streak with a 21-18 comeback win in the quarterfinals.
In the semifinals, Pasig made short work of the Palayan City Capitals, 21-9.
Leg 4 of the FIBA 3×3-endorsed tournament kicks off at 1 p.m. today still inside the “CalamBubble“, with Butuan City eyeing to match Zamboanga City’s two leg championships.
Bannered by Joshua Munzon and Alvin Pasaol, Zamboanga dominated the first and second leg.
Meanwhile, Petra Cement-Roxas ZN’s Janus Lozada hit on all of his 10 shots to rule the TM Two-Point Shootout contest, while David Carlos won his second straight TM Slam Dunk crown.