Former Falcon Lester Alvarez believes future is bright for Adamson
Santino Honasan on Nov 22, 2016 01:07 PM
WELCOME TO THE FUTURE. Adamson's Jerrick Ahanmisi and Papi Sarr are quickly becoming the cornerstones of a team that's expected to contend for the UAAP title in the coming seasons.
The Adamson Falcons are back in the final four of the UAAP. Let that sink in for a bit.
It did take half a decade, but they have managed to do it, and when you look at their current core of players, it's quite possible that this is just the first of many post-season trips.
Loaded with a young lineup that features the likes of Jerrick Ahanmisi, Rob Manalang, Jaydee Tungcap and reinforcment Papi Sarr, these group of guys will no doubt be exciting to watch in the coming seasons, and as early as now, with their re-entry into the final four, they're slowly proving it.
Season 74 was the last time that the San Marcelino squad made the post-season, and one of the key cogs of that squad, point guard Lester Alvarez, credits this new squad's heart and eagerness for their newfound success.
"Siguro yung eagerness na makapasok sa Final Four, yung puso na gusto talaga nila makapasok," Alvarez told ABS-CBN Sports. "Nung later games, talagang pumukpok sila, pinakita nila na dapat silang nasa Final Four."
The former Falcon playmaker adds that to be able to go all the way, Adamson will need to, above everything else, trust in coach Franz Pumaren,
"Discipline, focus, and magtiwala lang sila kay Coach Franz, kasi si Coach Franz, beterano talaga na coach ‘yan, alam ko na magiging maganda yung gameplan niya para sa first game. "
Alvarez was part of an Adamson team that finished the eliminations at 10-4, locking up the second seed and a twice-to-beat advantage. Around Alvarez were guys like Jan Colina, Roider Cabrera, Alex Nuyles, Rodney Brondial, and Jeff Olalia.
While they would squander their twice-to-beat advantage against a Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia-led FEU squad in the Final Four, it doesn't change the fact that they were truly contenders back in 2011.
Looking forward, Alvarez believes with the addition of Coach Franz, this young core will contend for the seasons to come.
"Oo naman, eto pa nga lang, parang first year pa lang ni Coach Franz, nagbe-blend kaagad sila, and yung laro ng isa’t isa, nalalaman na nila, parang kami noon eh, four years kaming nag-samasama bago naging well-blended yung team namin."
"Wala pa siyang one year, na-kuha agad niya yung trust ng mga players, na sundin yung system niya, and parang mas-exciting pa pag tumagal kas mas magiging blended sila." Alvarez added.
And while Alvarez says that he sees himself in Manalang, he believes that Ahanmisi will be the go-to-Falcon in the future.
The Falcons will face a stern test in top-seeded De La Salle University in the final four, not to mention that the dominant Green Archers will be enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage. Still, expect the Adamson Falcons to give the league-leaders all that they can handle.
The future is bright for the Falcons, and as early as now, they're letting everyone know.
Lester Alvarez and other former UAAP stars weigh in on this season's Final Four! Watch out for it on S+A Unfiltered: The UAAP Final Four Special, Tuesday, November 22, 8:00 PM on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23!
The Adamson Falcons make their UAAP Final Four return against DLSU! Catch it LIVE on Wednesday, November 23. Coverage starts at 3:00 PM, tip-off at 4:00 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23, S+A HD channel 166, and livestreaming on sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/uaap
Santino Honasan is on Twitter! Follow him at @honasantino