NCAA

Expect to see a lot of Franz Pumaren in Blazers’ game plan

By Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 28, 2017 05:15 PM

FRUIT-BEARING TREE. TY Tang will be bringing the Franz Pumaren press into the NCAA.

After playing five years with De La Salle University and seven seasons with Rain or Shine, TY Tang will now be calling the shots for College of St. Benilde.

And thus far, despite all the stress, Tang has been enjoying his new calling. “It’s a lot more stressful than being a player, but you know, don’t get me wrong about it, I love what I’m doing. I’m very passionate about it,” he expressed.

And also thus far, the 32-year-old already has a vote of confidence from one of the winningest coaches in the history of collegiate basketball. “This is gonna be a baptism of fire for him, but for sure, he can pull off some surprises,” Franz Pumaren shared.

He also added, “I think they (CSB) made the right decision in giving him the program.”

Pumaren, who has won multiple titles in the UAAP, coached Tang for all of his five years as a Green Archer.

So confident is the multi-titled mentor with Tang that the former was considering making the latter part of his coaching staff. “He played for me for five years and he was always my extension inside the court. In fact, I was planning to get him as one of my assistant coaches because I know what he’s capable of,” he said.

He then continued, “He’s smart, he knows the game, and he’s a winner. He has good potential and he has showed it already.”

Indeed, Pumaren had been already impressed by his former ward when their two teams squared off in the 2017 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament.

Pumaren’s Adamson University got the better of Tang’s Blazers, 71-59, but the former saw nothing but positive signs in the latter’s earlygoing as head coach. As he put it, “Right now, his team is still a work in progress, but you can see the big improvement. We played against them a couple of months ago in another tournament and there’s a dramatic jump with the way they’re playing.”

He then continued, “One thing I noticed is that the players have started embracing what TY is teaching them. They have a system that will help them be good in the NCAA.”

In terms of systems, the Soaring Falcons’ mentor feels imitation is the greatest form of flattery. “TY called me up, saying he contacted me to inform me that they were going to adopt my system. Actually, he didn’t have to do that, but out of respect, he still asked my permission,” he narrated.

He then continued, “Sabi ko, okay lang. Whatever it takes that you think you can help your team, go ahead.”

To help implement a scheme that has produced five UAAP championships, Tang has gathered in Taft Avenue, in his view, the brightest basketball minds. “I just wanted to have a lot of basketball IQ on my coaching staff. That’s gonna be a lot of help in terms of me as a head coach,” he said.

Now part of the CSB coaching staff are Nico D’Haenen, Ali Peek, Siot Tanquingsen, and Charles Tiu.

That is exactly why in the near future, the Blazers may just be able to rival the winning tradition of the other green and white school across from it. “Imagine, instead of just me alone, I have six or seven guys maybe like me or even above me in terms of coaching experience. And they will all help out in trying to rebuild the program of St. Benilde,” he expressed.

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