Lanete makes clutch free-throws to punch quarterfinals ticket for Manila Chooks

·2 min read

VETERAN guard Chico Lañete showed his unflappable poise as he made two free-throws to give Manila Chooks a 21-19 win over Zaisan MMC Energy and book a spot in the quarterfinals of the Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3x3 World Tour Manila Masters on Saturday night, May 28, 2022, at the Ayala Malls Manila Bay.

The 42-year-old veteran led Manila Chooks with 12 points, but none were bigger than the two he sank from the charity stripe that closed out the game in their favor. Those bonus free-throws came from the seventh foul of the opposition when he was dropped to the ground following a rebound scrum.

Lanete scored Manila's last five points, taking matters into his own hands as he helped complete 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 Lañete 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 3x3 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.

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.

The quarterfinals tip off at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 29, 2022. (JNP)

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