The young Adamson Soaring Falcons had passed their first test with flying colors after blasting the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons on opening day. However, experience trumped youth in their next outing against the defending UAAP champions Far Eastern University Tamaraws last Sunday.
After keeping close with the Tamaraws in the first half of the tilt, Nash Racela’s squad was able to break away in the third frame to grind out a 75-65 win. During the game, the battle-tested Tamaraws out-rebounded the inexperienced Falcons, 53 to 34, and furiously challenged the Adamson frontline, scoring 42 of their 75 points from inside the paint.
For first year Adamson head coach Franz Pumaren, his players’ lack of big game experience were magnified against the Tamaraws.
“It was our first real test and it showed that we are a really young team right now,” the 52-year-old mentor shared. “At least, we experienced what its like facing a tough team like FEU.”
He then added that even if the Tamaraws had lost most of their championship core last season, their line-up is still as deep and mature as seasons past.
“Think about the line-up of FEU. It’s been reaping dividends because of how they were stockpiling players the last how many years already.
“It’s very seldom to see a player from FEU that is fresh from high school. They are all mature already,” Pumaren furthered.
Pumaren sees this loss as part of the learning process that he and his team should learn from.
“For me it’s a learning process. It’s up to the guys to accept the challenge. It’s a reality check for us,” Adamson’s mentor shared.
“The beauty of this is that it happened in our second game.”
Moreover, the multi-time UAAP champion remains confident with his team as they have shown that they can go toe-to-toe with a top-tier team like the Tamaraws.
“It showed that we can compete with anybody,” the multi-time UAAP champion coach concluded.
“It’s just that players should realize that here in the UAAP, if we just play what we are capable of doing, we will be okay.”