Larry Fonacier retires from playing, becomes new NLEX team manager

From playing, Larry Fonacier will now be managing the Road Warriors. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Larry Fonacier has called it a career.

NLEX announced on Saturday night that Fonacier is retiring as a basketball player after a 17-year stint in the PBA.

Fonacier was drafted 14th overall in the 2005 draft, but he quickly rose to the occasion by helping Red Bull make the finals twice in the 2005-2006 season, eventually ruling the Fiesta Conference, en route to winning the Rookie of the Year award, the first second-round pick to do so.

Fonacier would win six more PBA titles, one with Alaska in 2010 and the other five with TNT, even as he would find himself reuniting with coach Yeng Guiao at NLEX in 2017.

He was also part of the Gilas Pilipinas teams that won the gold in the 2012 Jones Cup and the silver in the 2013 FIBA Asia Cup, which also effectively brought the national team back to the FIBA World Cup after 36 years.

The COVID-19 pandemic, however, slowed Fonacier's career down significantly, and he even had to be assigned to the Road Warriors' 3x3 team, the CAVITEX Braves, to get his groove back.

The 40-year-old streak-shooter was reinserted into NLEX's 5-on-5 team for the Commissioner's Cup with coach Frankie Lim now at the helm, but that turned out to be his swan song.

However, his job with the Road Warriors is not yet done as they too announced that he will be their new team manager for the upcoming Governors' Cup.

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