Butuan-Uling Roasters too hot to handle
Butuan City’s Chico Lanete en route to scoring eight points.

Butuan-Uling Roasters too hot to handle

Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - October 27, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — After ruling the third leg, Butuan City-Uling Roasters shoots for another one in today’s fourth and final leg of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 President’s Cup powered by TM at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.

Banking on Franky Johnson’s late heroics, Butuan City edged upset-conscious Pasig-Sta. Lucia Realtors, 21-20, last Sunday to claim its first crown and the top purse worth P100,000.

It was a great performance by the Roasters after losing in the finals in the opening leg last Wednesday and in the semis last Friday to Legs 1 and 2 champion Zamboanga-Family’s Brand Sardines.

“I kept telling them to never doubt themselves,” said ex-PBA player Chico Lanete, Butuan’s unspoken leader, referring to younger teammates Johnson, Chris de Chavez and JR Alabanza.

While it was Johnson who hit the title sealing two-pointer, Lanete did most of the heavy lifting by scoring eight points to get them in the position to win it.

The Roasters’ Leg 3 triumph may have sealed them a slot in the top four in Friday’s grand finals where the eight lower-ranked teams will play in a knockout format with the winners joining the top four after the classification legs.

Butuan’s win ended Pasig’s fairy tale run.

Regarded as underdogs, the Realtors clawed back from 10 points down against Zamboanga’s Joshua Munzon, Alvin Pasaol, Troy Rike and Santi Santillan and eke out a dramatic 21-18 win in the quarterfinals.

Then Pasig followed it up by pulling the rug from under Palayan City, 21-9, to gatecrash into the finals.

The roasters received P30,000 for the leg win.

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