Pressing full-court from start to finish, Adamson still had enough gas to go another round.
The Soaring Falcons utilized the vaunted ‘Pumaren Press’ in taking the air out of UST’s UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament upset bid Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, forcing 27 turnovers and converting it to 29 points.
“In fact, they’re asking pa nga if pwede pa silang tumakbo eh,” coach Franz Pumaren said in jest post-game as the San Marcelino crew kept their streak alive at three straight victories.
The press resulted into 12 steals and a ton of broken plays for the Growling Tigers, who came crashing back to earth after a landmark win over FEU in their second game of the season.
Pumaren said their defense is a result of hardwork, preparation and precision. It also pays off to know the tendencies of your opponents.
“That’s probably a validation of how we prepare during the offseason,” he explained. “If you look at my history as a college coach, I don’t think there’s not one incident where my player suffered from cramps. I think we should give credit to our conditioning coach, to our coaches.”
“We know how to pace them right now, how to push the right button. This is a very long season. I guess we’re still trying to make sure that come game time, they’re gonna be ready.”
And while the responsibility of physically preparing the players for the press primarily lies on his deputies, Pumaren says it’s also about tweaking the system to fit the strengths of his team and the weakness of their foes.
That, according to him, is the secret behind his success as a coach in the collegiate ranks.
“People are saying that I’m using the same press, the same system,” he said. “But if you look closely, every year, I adjust the defense. It depends on the materials, it depends on the teams that we are playing. That’s the main point here. I don’t think we can outscore the other teams.”
“We’re here to make a statement with our defense,” he said. “That’s the focal point of our successful run.”