COACH Franz Pumaren faces his former team which he guided to five championships as Adamson attempts to burst La Salle’s bubble today in a riveting UAAP men’s basketball clash at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Enjoying the best start since 2011, the Falcons and Pumaren look forward to meeting the fancied Green Archers, now handled by Aldin Ayo, in the 2 p.m. contest between leaders.
“It’s just one of those games that we are scheduled to play. It’s going to be weird, I’ll gonna see old friends. It’s going to be fun,” said Pumaren.
In his 12 years at La Salle, Pumaren tallied an impressive 86-26 win-loss record before leaving the school in 2009.
During Pumaren’s collegiate coaching hiatus, the Archers remained contenders as they won a title in 2013. But La Salle was eliminated in the Final Four last season which caused the exit of coach Juno Sauler and heralded the entry of Ayo.
This year, with Cameroonian Ben Mbala and Jeron Teng leading the way, the Archers looked formidable, going perfect in four starts, the team’s finest start since 2003 under Pumaren.
“La Salle? You know, they are the hands down favorites. You just look at their lineup, they are quite deep from 1 to 16,” said Pumaren.
The match-up against La Salle caps a tough two-game stretch for Adamson, which is coming off a 64-51 win over 2014 titlist National University to seize second place last Wednesday.
“We just have to dig deep for us to compete against a powerhouse team. We will try to keep the game close,” said Pumaren.