UAAP Season 80 Preview: Now contenders, Adamson Falcons embracing the pressure
Coach: Franz Pumaren
Last Season: 8-6 (Final Four)
Holdovers: Jerrick Ahanmisi, Robbie Manalang, Papi Sarr, Sean Manganti
Additions: Tyrus Hill, Koko Pingoy
Key Losses: Jaydee Tungcab, Harold Ng
After bursting into the Final Four last year, Adamson is now regarded as one of the contenders for this season’s championship.
Coach Franz Pumaren is well aware of that, and he believes that it’s time for the young Soaring Falcons embrace the challenge head-on.
“It’s important for us to start manning up, start accepting the pressure. The difference right now, probably, is that other teams will be preparing for us, unlike last season that they underestimated us because we’re consistent being at the bottom of the team standings,” he said.
With focus on consistency in his program, Pumaren has also set higher expectations for his team—from just merely trying to make the Final four to achieving higher than fourth place.
“We need to improve on our finish last year, but we have a tough task ahead of us. As we all know, other teams have been rebuilding since last year. It’s a never ending process. Two years ago, they’ve stockpiled their players so we just have to assess everything once the season gets going,” he said.
The Soaring Falcons will have a virtually intact line up with Cameroonian big man Papi Sarr upfront, together with the trio of Jerrick Ahanmisi, Robbie Manalang, and Sean Manganti.
Pumaren, though, is expecting more from his bench unit as he wants Adamson to be unpredictable on both ends.
“Hopefully, we can get some lift from our guys and the rest of the team because it’s so hard if you rely in only a couple of guys. You’ll be predictable,” he said.
But more than the talent, Pumaren is putting emphasis on he mental side of things as he seeks to see a more mature Adamson crew this year.
“Slowly, we’re picking up. What’s important for us is to stress and make sure that we can be mentally tough and prepared for this coming season in terms of how to handle pressure.”
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