CEBU CITY, Philippines – Chico Lanete has been around the Philippine basketball circuit for 15 solid years.
He goes from being an NCAA player to winning PBA titles before he found himself playing with and nurturing the skills of up-and-coming batch of players in 3×3 games before he finally hangs up his sneakers and will concentrate in coaching the newest basketball craze in the country.
On Saturday, the first of October, the 43-year-old Lanete played his final 3×3 game as the playing-coach of Manila Chooks.
Because of his dedication to his work as head trainer of the two Chooks-to-Go teams – the Manila Chooks and Cebu Chooks, Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. (BAVI) President and the Philippine 3×3 godfather Ronald Mascariñas gave him a warm retirement ceremony before the opening rites of the Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3×3 World Tour Cebu Masters at the Mountain View lobby of SM Seaside.
“Mga kababayan, Chico is really who I consider a hero for his service of the country. Marami siyang pinasaya as a pro player. In the twilight of career, sinigurado niya na pagsilbihan ang ating bayan. Kahit 43 na siya, lumaban pa ring siya para sa atin. On behalf or our organization, maraming salamat coach Chico,” Mascariñas explained during the ceremony.
The teary-eyed Lanete warmly accepted the gift of Chooks-to-Go president, his very first 3×3 jersey while playing for Manila City in the Philippine circuit.
“Speechless ako. Maraming salamat Boss Ronald for the opportunity. Maraming salamat sa pagsuporta ninyo sa amin. Hindi niyo iniwan yung family ko,” replied Lanete.
Among the surprise readied by Chooks-to-Go was bringing his wife and children into his retirement ceremony, and the ultimate gift of having his own Chooks-to-Go outlet that will last for a lifetime.
Lanete started his basketball career with Southern City College in Zamboanga City before he was recruited to play for the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates in the NCAA.
While bidding for his time, the semipro, Lanete played a couple of tournaments in Cebu City basketball circuits before he went playing for the defunct Philippine Basketball League (PBL) where he won three championships and two Finals MVP award.
However, despite his illustrious credentials in the amateur, Lanete went undrafted in the in the PBA Rookie Draft in 2006.
But basketball gods have plans for the Ormoc City-born cager starting when he was picked from free-agents roll by Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants and went to become a member of the All Rookie Team in 2008 season.
From Purefoods, Lanete went on to play with Barangy Ginebra Kings, Burger King Whoopers, Powerade Tigers, Meralco Bolts, Barako Bull Energy, Petron Blaze Boosters/San Miguel Beermen, back at Barako Bull, then to Phoenix Fuel Masters and back with San Miguel Beermen.
His last stop with the Beermen gave him the opportunity to win three championship titles, before he was released at the end of the 2019 season.
During the pandemic years, Lanete get the chance to play with the Sarangani Marlins and Bicol Volcanoes before he shifted to 3×3 basketball.
Lanete also has siblings who were basketball players – Von Harry, who played for the University of the Visayas Green Lancers and the more illustrious Garvo, who went to play with San Beda College and in the PBA as well.
However, Garvo’s promising career ended after playing six seasons in the PBA. RCM