Pumaren: Ahanmisi 'too nice' and 'needs to be selfish like Ritualo' | Inquirer Sports
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Pumaren: Ahanmisi ‘too nice’ and ‘needs to be selfish like Ritualo’

/ 02:57 PM March 05, 2018

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.net

For Akari-Adamson coach Franz Pumaren, a little more selfishness from Jerrick Ahanmisi won’t hurt, especially that the Fil-Nigerian guard will now be given the keys to lead the Falcons from this point on.

“That’s what I’m trying to say to him, that he needs to be more assertive. He’s too nice,” the veteran bench tactician said.

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Pumaren believes Ahanmisi could be something more and not just be limited to being knock-down shooter, the moment he assumes the role of being the team’s go-to guy.

Ahanmisi has the numbers to back him up, averaging 12.7 points on a 35 percent shooting from three, to go with 2.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists, emerging as one of the Falcons’ top guys this past UAAP Season 80.

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But Pumaren wants more.

“He needs to be aggressive. He needs to be a little more selfish. He can drive to the basket and ask for ball, but he’s too nice that he wants to share the ball to his teammates,” said Pumaren, going to as far as giving Ahanmisi someone to emulate.

“He needs to be selfish like Renren,” he said, referring to former La Salle star and now Adamson assistant coach Renren Ritualo. “He needs to watch videos of how selfish Renren was.”

Though Pumaren’s comments could be seen as a little comical, Ahanmisi heard his coach’s message loud and clear as he slowly accepts the responsibilities of being Akari-Adamson’s undisputed leader.

“I just got to embrace it,” he said. “I just got to listen to what he says. Coach knows what’s better for me and I just got to take what he says and do it on and off the court.”

Ahanmisi channeled his inner Ritualo and gave Pumaren a glimpse of what he can do as the first option.

He caught fire from downtown, hitting 7-of-8 from three to finish with 26 points on top of four assists, and three rebounds in the Falcons’ 100-89 victory over AMA Online Education in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup on Monday.

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But it’s not just in this game against the Titans that Ahanmisi has been able to show his mettle. He has been a consistent force for Akari-Adamson, netting 16.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.0 steal for the conference.

Ahanmisi, the younger brother of Rain or Shine guard Maverick in the PBA, knows that the spotlight will be a little brighter in this buildup as he will be counted on to carry the mantle for the Falcons, whether he’s ready or not.

“I just got to adjust to it. Rob (Manalang) is gone but I’ll try to lead the team to the right direction and help the young guys adjust to coach Franz’ system,” he said. “Our team is young. We got some new guys coming in, but we got some vets also. We just got to mold and learn from each other. And personally, whatever coach Franz needs me to do, I’ll do it as best as I can.”

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TAGS: 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup, Adamson Soaring Falcons, Akari-Adamson, Franz Pumaren, Jerrick Ahanmisi, Renren Ritualo
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