By JONAS TERRADO
Manila Chooks TM’s Chico Lanete advanced to the final round of the FIBA 3×3 World Tour Doha Masters two-point shootout after topping the qualifying phase held Friday (early Saturday, Manila time) at the Al Gharafa Sports Complex in Qatar.
The 41-year-old Lanete made eight of 10 attempts to join Darius Tarvydas of Lithuania’s Saklai, Steve Sir of Canada’s Edmonton and Filip Kramer of Austria’s Graz in the final.
Lanete goes for the title and the top purse of $500 (almost P25,000) in the final round of the shootout slated Saturday evening in the Qatari capital.
His performance in the event came moments after scoring a rainbow shot from the corner that gave Manila a 21-20 overtime victory over host Doha in the team’s final game of the qualifying draw.
Despite the win, Manila failed to advance in the main draw after losing its opening assignment to Graz, 22-17.
Also part of the Manila squad in Doha were Mac Tallo, Zach Huang and Dennis Santos.
The Aldin Ayo-mentored Manila squad did make a solid impression in the Qatari capital, particularly against Graz when it took a 3-0 lead at the start and was also ahead 9-7 midway in the match.
But Manila couldn’t sustain the lead as Graz took advantage of its height and familiarity to secure the victory.
Against Doha, Manila fell behind 14-9 but came back behind the steady shooting of Santos and baskets from Tallo in the final seconds of regulation.
Tallo converted back-to-back layups to help Manila force overtime knotted at 19-all.