Cebu City—No excuses were made after two Philippine squads, Cebu Chooks and Manila Chooks, lost to highly regarded opponents Sunday in the ongoing FIBA 3×3 Cebu Masters at the SM Seaside Mall in Cebu City.
Both squads have already played in high-level competitions against top-ranked club teams, flying in to Sta. Rosa, Laguna and into the Queen City of the South over the last two months to play, earn points and claim the hefty cash prizes.
But the grind doesn’t stop for Cebu Chooks and Manila Chooks, which will just join more high-performance tournaments abroad to toughen up their skills further, this time under the guidance of new head coach Chico Lanete as they seek points that will help them enter Olympic Qualifying meets for the Paris Olympics.
“Hindi man namin nakuha iyung mga panalo dahil sa mga lapses, kailangan na lang namin bumawi sa mga susunod na mga games,” said Lanete after Cebu Chooks absorbed a 14-21 setback to Omaha 3BALL of the USA.
Lanete was given a retirement ceremony by the organizers, led by BAVI chief Ronald Mascarinas.
Two tournaments are in store for them — in Taiwan this October and in Saudi Arabia in November, with Lanete supervising the team.
Lanete is taking on his new role months after Aldin Ayo left the team to handle the Converge FiberXers in the Philippine Basketball Association.
Consistency in their game play is something that players that will be under him will work on, with Lanete taking the lead.
“The condition was all right, but not perfect. I still have more work to do. But I’m eager to see the result,” said Cebu import Mike Harry Nzeusseu after Cebu Chooks managed to stay close with their matches with Omaha 3Ball and Antwerp.
The 6’0” Lanete, who played professionally as a 5×5 player for 14 years before shifting to 3×3, suited up for 10 club squads in the Philippine Basketball Association and last played for the Bicol Volcanoes of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.
So far, the top four seeded entries Antwerp of Belgium, Riga of Latvia, Amsterdam HiPro of the Netherlands and Ulaanbaatar MMC Energy of Mongolia made it to the quarterfinals after sweeping their tough two-game, group stage encounters.
Also reaching the quarterfinals are Saitama and Utsonomiya of Japan, Lausanne of Switzerland and Omaha 3Ball.