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Aggressive defense from opening buzzer key to Falcons’ bounce-back

It’s the same thing Franz Pumaren has been preaching all along. And as the first round nears its end, he hopes his wards finally got the message.

As Adamson gave up 88 points in a tough overtime loss to FEU last Sunday, the veteran mentor known for his trademark defense reiterated his stance that the Soaring Falcons’ first priority is to protect the basket.

“The mentality right now that we should have is that we cannot outscore the other team,” he said. “We’re winning because of our defense.”

With a gang of long-armed and versatile defenders, Adamson has been one of the stingiest squads in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament until the dam burst in the second and third quarters against the Tamaraws.

But the Falcons showed how they can lock down foes when they held FEU to just 13 points in the fourth period while scoring 28.

Pumaren, however, reminded his team to go back to its roots.

“We’re not a swashbuckling team that will blow teams away,” he said. “We’re just a regular joe. We’re just a blue-collar type of team.”

“We have to work hard for every possession. We have to work hard every time on defense,” he stressed.

And as they face La Salle to close out the first half of their campaign, Pumaren wants Adamson to clamp down on D from the get-go.

“The question for us is it’s not only during the closing part of the game. It’s from the start that we should be playing aggressive defense,” he said.

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