CEBU City — Doha spoiled Chico Lanete’s retirement party as it eliminated Manila Chooks 21-16 in the qualifying draw of the Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3×3 World Tour Cebu Masters at the SM Seaside City Cebu here Saturday.
Mohamed Abdelkawy delivered the final blow with a two-pointer with 44.9 seconds left and sent Doha to Pool D of the 12-team main draw, along with Mongolia’s Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy and Switzerland’s Lausanne Sport SUI.
Dejan Janjic led Doha with 13 points, while Alioune Sy Ndyoe and Abdelkawy added three points each.
Henry Iloka paced Manila Chooks with 11 points, including a basket and a free throw that put the country’s second-ranked 3×3 team to within three, 16-19.
Ken Holmqvist, a replacement for the injured Dave Ando, had three points and Dennis Santos added two.
One of the highlights of the FIBA-level event is the farewell ceremony prepared by Chooks-to-Go for Lanete, who is hanging up his basketball sneakers for good after playing the final game of a colorful career that lasted over 15 years.
No less than Chooks-to-Go President Ronald Mascariñas paid tribute to the 43-year-old pride of Ormoc for his service to the Chooks 3×3 program and to the country.
“Chico is really who I consider a hero for his service to the country, Marami siyang pinasaya as a pro player. In the twilight of his career, sinigurado pa din niya na pagsilbihan ang ating bayan,” said the godfather of Philippine 3×3.
“Kahit 43 na siya, lumaban pa rin siya para sa atin,” added Mascariñas, who also rewarded Lanete a Chooks-to-Go store in appreciation of his efforts.
“On behalf of our organization, maraming salamat, Coach Chico.”
Lanete was visibly very happy.
“Speechless ako. Maraming salamat Boss Ronald for the opportunity. Maraming salamat sa pagsuporta ninyo sa amin. Hindi niyo iniwan ‘yung family ko.” said Lanete, who was also accompanied by his wife and kids during his final game.
With Manila’s exit, Cebu Chooks will be the lone Philippine representative in this World Tour Masters leg set to kick off later in the day.
Qualifying Draw 1
Manila 21 – Iloka 10, Holmqvist 5, Lanete 5, Santos 1.
Ludhiana 17 – Ludhiana 6, Singh 6, Sandhu 5, Karan 0.
Time: 9:18 (Iloka)
Qualifying Draw 2
Doha 17 – Janjic 8, Ndoye 8, Diop 1, Abdelaziz 0.
Ludhiana 15 – Sandhu 6, Singh 4, Panaich 4, Panaich 1.
Qualifying Draw 3
Doha 21 – Janjic 13, Abdelaziz 3, Ndoye 3, Diop 2.
Manila 16 – Iloka 11, Homqvist 3, Santos 2, Lanete 0.
Time: Abdelaziz – 2 (9:15.1)