CALAMBA, LAGUNA – An injury has made the difficult decision for Uling Roasters-Butuan City in the Grand Finals of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup powered by TM.
Due to a swollen left shoulder, Chico Lanete will be on the sidelines when Butuan City enters the ‘Million Peso Game’ on Friday as the second-seed.
The 41-year-old energized Uling Roasters to a championship in Leg 3 and then a runner-up finish in Leg 4, but has been bothered by his left shoulder for two days now. He sustained the injury during that’s legs semis that saw Butuan defeat Palayan City, 21-20 (8:57).
Because of that, Lanete and his teammates thought it would be best for Butuan City to field Franky Johnson, Chris De Chavez, Karl Dehesa, and JR Alabanza for the ultimate winner-take-all tournament.
“Napakabigat sa akin ‘no kasi Grand Finals, siyempre, gusto ko talaga maglaro, pero wala akong choice,” said the veteran in the pre-Grand Finals press conference on Thursday afternoon. “Mas healthy sila kaysa sa akin. ‘Di ko naman ginusto magka-injury, pero may tiwala ako sa teammates ko.”
The last time Butuan City fielded a quartet of Johnson, De Chavez, Dehesa, and Alabanza was back in Leg Two. They finished in third palce during the leg.
For sure, Lanete has left big shoes to fill for his teammates.
Uling Roasters, however, are confident they will be up to the task. As team captain Dehesa put it, “Everyone in this team is a leader.”