MANILA, Philippines -- Veteran guard Chico Lanete has decided not to play in the grand finals of the 2020 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup, after sustaining a shoulder injury in the previous leg.
With the 41-year-old veteran sitting out, Uling Roasters-Butuan City will be represented by Franky Johnson, JR Abalanza, Chris de Chavez, and team captain Karl Dehesa.
"Napakabigat sa akin noon, kasi grand finals bukas," Lanete said of the decision during a press conference, Thursday afternoon. "Gusto ko talagang maglaro, pero wala akong choice eh. Siyempre, iniisip ko din ang team."
"Noong isang araw pa 'to, pero tinitiis ko lang," he said of the injury.
Lanete acknowledged that his other teammates are in better health. Johnson, in particular, is well-rested after sitting out the fourth leg where Butuan City made it to the finals before losing to Zamboanga City Chooks.
The 12-year PBA veteran said he has no doubt that his teammates can get the job done, especially after their superb run so far in the conference. Butuan City made the finals in three legs, winning Leg 3 in a 21-20 thriller over Pasig City.
"Hindi ko naman gusto na magka-injury, pero may tiwala ako sa mga teammates ko," said Lanete.
"Andito naman ako para i-guide sila at i-cheer," he also assured.
His teammates are determined to repay Lanete's trust and get the job done in the grand finals, where a total prize of P1 million is at stake.
"The good thing about this team is everyone knows their roles," said Dehesa. "We're constantly communicating. It's gonna be just like the same, just like having him out there."
"It's great to be around a veteran like him, and we're all blessed to have him on the team," he added.