Pumaren says he spoiled Adamson with their ‘magical run’ this year
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 24, 2016 04:39 PM
GAME-CHANGER. Franz Pumaren took no time at all in turning Adamson into a contender.
Upstart Adamson University fought until the very end of their do-or-die matchup against fully-loaded De La Salle University last Wednesday.
The Soaring Falcons gave the top-seed and twice-to-beat Green Archers all they could handle before Jeron Teng happened to them.
Still, coach Franz Pumaren was nothing but beaming with how his inexperienced youngsters lost by only five points and lost because their inexperience made it difficult for them to capitalize on their chances. “I’m very proud of my boys. Look at the size of our opponent, look at the recruits of our opponents,” he expressed post-game.
He then continued, “Look at the players I have and we were just a few minutes away from forcing another game.”
Indeed, the San Marcelino-based squad was only chasing down a three-point deficit inside the last two minutes and muffed on three triple tries in a row. In the last minute, they again forced defensive stops only to see Dawn Ochea and Jerrick Ahanmisi’s long-range bombs fall short of the ring.
Contrary to popular opinion, the multi-titled mentor has always said that he did not expect upstart Adamson to make a playoff push in only his first season at the helm.
And so, the mere fact that he and his boys even had the opportunity to give a good scare to DLSU was already an accomplishment. “I must say, even if we didn’t make it all the way, I can say it’s a magical run for us. Who would ever imagine of expect us to be in this kind of situation,” he mused.
Pumaren then went on to say that when he first took the job, all he promised the Adamson community was that their Falcons will be competitive. “When they asked me, this year was just supposed to be a gestation period for us. Getting to know, warming up, but we overachieved,” he shared.
It wasn’t until the UAAP itself that the thought of a playoff push even crossed the mind of the 52-year-old. “We played in the preseason and I thought we could compete. When we started playing here, we started seeing the other opponents and we thought we had a shot at the Final Four,” he said.
Pumaren also said that he himself overachieved in his first year in San Marcelino. So much so that the community there, apparently, has been telling him he has been doing too much already as he narrated, “What’s so funny nga e they were telling me na now, I’m spoiling Adamson naman. When we won one, two, three games, they said, ‘Coach, okay na yan.’”
He then continued, “But when we started making a run (four wins in a row), then we lost, parang hindi na agad sanay. At least, the culture right now has dramatically changed.”
However, the Falcons’ mentor was also adamant that this was far from the best everybody has seen from them. “I’ll tell you, frankly, I’m excited for next year. Whatever we accomplished this year, whatever disappointment we experienced, we’ll use that as a springboard for next year,” he said.
He then continued, “Season 80 for us, starts tomorrow.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.