AdU's Franz Pumaren slams 'worst' officiating in game vs DLSU

MANILA, Philippines – After leading the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers to multiple titles in the 2000s, Adamson University (AdU) head coach Franz Pumaren now finds himself on the receiving end of DLSU’s success for two years in a row after taking a season-ending 82-75 defeat in the UAAP Season 80 Final 4 playoff opener, Saturday night, November 18, at the Araneta Coliseum.

But Pumaren did not take this year’s repeat elimination of Adamson quietly, as he let his thoughts be heard in the locker room area immediately following the game.

“Worst officiating!” bellowed the tenured coach towards the referees’ holding room. “Di niyo kami pinalaro!” (“You didn’t let us play!”)

Adamson assistant coach and former PBA star Renren Ritualo followed suit: “Sinira niyo yung laro!” (“You ruined the game!”)

To anyone who were not able to watch the game, one look at the stat sheet would answer the question on why the Falcons’ coaches were fuming. For the game, DLSU got 39 free-throw attempts off 33 Adamson fouls and converted 26 charity stripe shots. Adamson, on the other hand, only got 5 attempts off 12 La Salle fouls and converted 2.

While this could be pointed to the fact that the Falcons’ offense was more perimeter-oriented than the Archers and that La Salle went on a 12-0 4th quarter run to take the lead, the free-throw discrepancy still riled up a lot of people on social media.

After the Falcons have finished their post-game locker room huddle, Pumaren let loose in the media room.

“Even my friends from La Salle – friends whom I’ve not been in touch for the longest time, they can’t even celebrate the victory,” he said. “I pity my players. They worked so hard for this. Everybody saw the game. Everybody knows what happened.”

"During my time, I didn't get that kind of calls," he added, referring to his long stint as DLSU head coach from 1998-2009 where he won 5 championships, including a 4-peat from 1998-2001 and one more in 2007.

Pumaren then lamented in particular a costly play approaching the endgame: “Isa na nga lang na tawag – nasupalpal si [Jerie] Pingoy, last touch [ng La Salle] yun. Blocked shot yung kay Pingoy, tapos binigay sa kanila?” (“Even just one call – Pingoy got blocked, that’s last touch by La Salle. Pingoy got blocked but they got the possession?”)

He was referring to a crucial call on a 3-point attempt by Pingoy during the closing minutes where La Salle was up by 4, 74-70. The ball didn’t come close to the rim and sailed out of bounds, right into the Archers’ possession. Allegedly, the shot was blocked by star Archer Ricci Rivero.

Pumaren went on to say that some UAAP coaches, whom he refused to name, texted him in the aftermath, saying that it was a “sad day for the UAAP.”

However, he ended on a light note, saying that the program has ultimately gone well under his watch.

“Modestly speaking, now people are talking about us,” he said. “We’re no longer the perennial whipping boys. We make sure that we’re competitive year in and year out.” At least now, we’ve got the respect of the other schools.” –