UAAP: Adamsonís Pumaren had the best squeezed out of him by Ateneoís Baldwin

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 10, 2018 03:55 PM
UAAP: Pumaren had the best squeezed out of him by Baldwin
Adamson's coach Franz Pumaren says he had to be at his best up against Ateneo's coach Tab Baldwin in the opener of the UAAP Season 81

Adamson University took down Ateneo de Manila University to open the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Perfectly executing the game plan that was prepared in the last three months by head coach Franz Pumaren and his staff, the Soaring Falcons sent a statement at the expense of the defending champion Blue Eagles.

At the end of it all, Adamson’s coach Franz was nothing but satisfied that he got the better of Ateneo’s Tab Baldwin – the reigning and defending champion coach of the league. “I love coaching against Tab Baldwin because he’s a juice extractor. Talagang inii-squeeze whatever knowledge I have in basketball in a good way,” the former told reporters post-game.

He then continued, “He pushes me to be thinking one step or even (just) half a step ahead of him.”

Between them, Pumaren and Baldwin have six UAAP championships.

That is exactly why the winning coach knew that even after the Soaring Falcons seemingly took the fight out of the Blue Eagles, the latter stormed right back to tie the tally at 68-all inside the last 80 seconds.

Then, the multi-titled mentor told his wards to keep calm and collected. “When they were making a run, I kept telling my players during the timeout that we’re still good. I specifically mentioned to them that Ateneo is a streaky team and they will make their runs so we just have to hang on,” he shared.

He then continued, “My only request to them is to keep the game close and let me coach.”

That, Adamson did as its defense only allowed one more make the rest of the way just as Jerrick Ahanmisi, Papi Sarr, and Sean Manganti delivered the goods on offense.

With the win, the Falcons soared to start the season.

They aren’t getting too ahead of themselves just yet, though. Asked if the win proved that they are contenders, coach Franz answered, “We still have to prove ourselves. Winning one game in opening (weekend) winning one game against Ateneo won’t make us a championship team.”

He then continued, “We’re still a team struggling to improve our position last season. I think we still have a lot of work to do.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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