Chico Lanete flexed his poise to tow Manila Chooks past Zaisan MMC Energy, 21-19 (7:25), in a thrilling end to the 2022 Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3×3 World Tour Manila Masters opener, Saturday at Ayala Malls Manila Bay.
The 42-year-old veteran powered the home team with 12 points, none bigger than his two clutch free throws with 2:34 left that helped his side complete the eight-team ensemble for the quarterfinals set tomorrow at 4:00 p.m.
Those bonuses came from the seventh foul of the opposition when he was dropped to the ground following a battle for the rebound near the rim.
Lanete scored Manila’s last five points, taking matters into his own hands as he applied the finishing blows to a fightback sparked by Dennis Santos.
The lanky forward scored three of his four points to turn a four-point deficit to just one, 17-16, with 3:26 to play before his senior took over.
Nigerian slotman Henry Iloka finished with five points and six rebounds for Manila, who clinched the second seed in Pool D with a 1-1 record.
They will face Sansar MMC Energy in the quarterfinals. The Mongolian team is the no. 1 seed in Pool B with a perfect 2-0 record.
Ikhbayar Chuluunbaatar had nine points to lead Zaisan, who failed to carry over the momentum of its championship run in the Ulaanbaatar Super Quest as it went winless in two games. Gan-Erdene Gantsolmon added seven.
Other playoff brackets in this maximum level FIBA 3×3 tournament that has a $122,000 (P6,375,415) prize pool with $40,000 (P2,090,300) going to the champion will see Pool A top team Ub Huishan NE take on Warsaw, who emerged as the second-best team in Pool C following its 21-15 (9:33) win over Indian ball club Gurugram in the penultimate game of the day.
Pool D’s best squad Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy will take on Melbourne, who came out as the no. 2 team in a complicated Pool B.
The Australian crew actually beat Sansar earlier by way of a 22-16 (8:49) decision, but failed to finish as the top dog of the group after exhausting all possible tiebreakers. Their finish was determined by federation rankings instead. Outsted from the group is world no. 2 Antwerp.
Ultimately, world no. 3 Liman will lock horns with Cebu Chooks as the top team in Pool C takes on the second-ranked team of Pool A.
Pool B Game 3:
Melbourne 22 – Wagstaff 11, Steel 6, Hire 3, Wilks 2.
Sansar 16 – Onolbaatar 5, Ariunbold 5, Borgil 4, Avarzed 2.
Time: Wagstaff 2 (8:49)
Pool C Game 3:
Warsaw 21 – Zamojski 13, Diduszko 3, Pawlowski 3, Rduch 2.
Gurugram 15 – Gill B. 6, Shastri 5, Gill I. 4, Ramirez 0.
Time: Zamojski FT (9:33)
Pool D Game 3:
Manila 21 – Lanete 12, Iloka 5, Santos 4, Holmqvist 0.
Zaisan 19 – Chuluunbaatar 9, Gantsolmon 7, Nyamdorj 3, Batsaikhan 0.
Time: Lanete FT (7:25)