UAAP 82: Coach Franz hoping young Adamson follows lead of Chauca

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 05, 2019 01:55 PM
Coach Franz hoping young Adamson follows lead of Chauca
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

Adamson University was at the wrong end of a statement win to start the season from defending champion Ateneo de Manila University.

Still, in an 18-point loss, the Soaring Falcons had a ray of light.

And it was a ray of light that seemingly came out of nowhere as one-and-done player Valandre Chauca fronted the effort for the San Marcelino-based squad with 17 points and four assists off the bench.

That is exactly why Adamson remains upbeat about its chances even after suffering a setback to commence its campaign.

After all, they were the grand winners in the so-called sweepstakes for the Filipino-Peruvian guard. "Actually, there were a lot of schools who were interested in him. He fell into my lap. He saw (our) games on YouTube so he wants to follow me," head coach Franz Pumaren said.

He then continued, "We hit the jackpot (with) him. He's a one-and-done player that you can really invest in."

Indeed, with the Soaring Falcons having trouble getting going, it was Chauca who energized and gave life to them, rallying them to as near as five inside the last five minutes. "Well, that's why he's here with us," his mentor said of his effort afterward.

More than on-court production, though, coach Franz is actually leaning on the 24-year-old playmaker to steady the ship of this young squad. As he put it, "He can help the younger guys, he can nurture the younger guys. He can be their mentor so that's why he's a welcome addition to us."

For reference, Adamson has nine first-year players in its 16-man lineup.

Even better, Chauca will only be better moving forward. "He only started practicing with us (five) days ago to be exact. Prior to that, he was gone for two months, finishing his degree so it was just his (sixth) day coming from the States, but no jetlag," the Adamson shot-caller said.

He then continued, "I'm expecting more of him in leading this team."

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