After surprising the league in the UAAP Season 79 men’s basketball tournament with a Final Four finish, Adamson is ready to soar even higher next season with a young but deadly squad.
Multi-titled coach Franz Pumaren led the Soaring Falcons to their first semifinal finish after five years of drought in his just first season at the helm.
And the pressure to perform even better in his second year just rose to the ceiling as no less than a return trip to the semifinals is expected of the San Marcelino cagers.
The five-time UAAP champion coach though, known for his iconic “Pumaren Press Defense,” is not bothered at all by the immense expectation.
“Pressure is always gonna be there. Pressure is always gonna be attached to each individual. We just have to learn how to live with that and accept the challenge,” Pumaren told Akari Sports.
Sharpshooting sophomore Jerrick Ahanmisi and import Papi Sarr are both expected to carry the scoring load for the Falcons while outgoing senior Rob Manalang will take the reins inside the court.
“He’s (Manalang) our leader right now. He has to make sure that he can guide this team. He’s the extension of the coach inside,” Pumaren added. “We won not because of individual talent, we won because of team concept, each and everyone I guess we will have to help each other.”
Terrence Mustre, Sean Manganti, Jonathan Espeleta, Simon Camacho, Kristian Bernardo and Dawn Ochea are also expected to return next year for Adamson.
The big addition for Season 80 though are Fil-American reinforments from California, Kurt Lojera and Tyrus Hill, and former UAAP juniors MVP Jerie Pingoy.
Things will have to be polished still this off-season before the Falcons regain their form. But if things go the right direction, the boys from San Marcelino can be a force to reckon with in Season 80 and in years to come.
“They’re still gonna adjust. Each year naman its really different scenario for us. New players, new adjustment on the players and the coaches,” Pumaren explained.
“This would be much deeper in rotation but still gonna be a young team.”