After two stints in the quarterfinals, head trainer Chico Lanete swore Manila Chooks! 3×3 will get over the hump— that includes beating world No. 11 Utrecht of the Netherlands if they cross paths anew.
“Siyempre naman (if Manila Chooks! can beat Utrecht). Naniniwala ako na darating tayo diyan,” Lanete said. “Iyan ang goal natin at nakikita naman natin iyong improvement ng team at iyong effort na ipinapakita ng mga players natin sa bawat laro dito.”
“Alam nating hindi madali dahil isa sa mga world’s top 3×3 teams iyan at talaga namang makikita mo ang lalaki nila pero walang imposible. Mas malaki pa rin ang puso ng mga Pinoy,” he added.
Eager to bounce back, the resilient Filipino 3×3 cagers try to lick their wounds fast when they do battle on Friday, Mar. 17, in the FIBA 3X3 Pro League Netherlands 2023 Winter Edition Stop 3 at the Amsterdam Velodrome.
The quartet of Philippine No. 1 Mac Tallo, No. 3 Dennis Santos, CJ Payawal, and Matt Salem, still filling in the shoes of injured big man Brandon Ramirez (knee), take on Toronto of Canada at 2:05 a.m. and Dutch side Ijmuiden at 3:45 a.m.
Manila Chooks! fell to Utrecht 11-22 for the second straight time in the Last 8 of Stop 2 last Tuesday.
But Lanete is not one to lose faith in his charges.
“Basta focused on the task at hand lang lagi,” he said. “They have to have the presence of mind at iyong energy from start to finish dapat consistent iyan lahat.”
The top team in Stop 3 will take home $15,000 and a berth to the Manila Masters, while the second and third placers will bag $10,000 and $5,000, respectively.
In the final of the FIBA level 8 tourney, the top squad will earn $15,000 and a slot to the Macau Masters.
The second and third placers will get $7,000 and $5,000, respectively.