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Franz Pumaren: A Man on a Mission

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“Oras na para palitan yan!”

Those were the words of newly-appointed Adamson Soaring Falcons Head Coach Franz Pumaren, when he saw the lone rusty 1977 UAAP seniors’ championship trophy of the Soaring Falcons in the University Museum. It was on display as Pumaren, along with assistant coaches Jack Santiago, Tonichi Yturri, Don Allado, and Renren Ritualo, visited the place before they were formally introduced yesterday, alongside last season’s interim head coach Mike Fermin, as the new members of the Adamson coaching staff.

“We don’t run away from challenges. We are here to give Adamson a championship,” Pumaren said, having received full backing from the administration and management to fight to end a 38-year title drought for the San Marcelino-based squad, the longest in UAAP history.

“It’s gonna be an exciting Adamson team next year. We are a start-up company, we are working slowly but surely just like what I did in Air 21 in the PBA when we almost barged to the finals as we are only improving individually but also a team,” the one-time PBA coach said, as he brought the seventh-seeded Air 21 Express to the semifinals of the 2014 PBA Commissioner’s Cup for the first time in its franchise history. In a monumental upset, the Express outlasted second-seed San Miguel Beermen, who held a twice-to-beat advantage, in the quarterfinals only to fall to eventual champions San Mig Super Coffee Mixers in their semifinals series.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Franz Pumaren: A Man on a Mission    “I am proud of my coaching staff. I bring them not on their looks because what they can bring on the table.”

The five-time UAAP champion coach has assembled an experienced coaching team, including Santiago and Yturri, who had been Pumaren’s assistant coaches during his time at the De La Salle University; Allado and Ritualo who are familiar with his methods; and Fermin, who is familiar with the current pool of young Adamson players since he has been with the team the last two years.

After the press conference, Falcons team manager Gilbert Cruz introduced the new “boss” of the San Marcelino cagers to the Adamson Gym. Pumaren then spoke about his expectations for the team.

“I am a demanding coach, my former players knows that,” he said. Pumaren, who had also won nine PBA championships as a player – mostly with the Beermen, had a friendly reminder for his new team before they get back to business during their first practice on January 4, 2016.

“Stay in shape this holiday season or you will regret it,’’ Pumaren quipped.

He now begins the process of the Soaring Falcons back to championship prominence in the UAAP.

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