Pumaren: 'I’ll be with Adamson for the long haul'
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Multi-titled coach Franz Pumaren, who has been with the Adamson men’s basketball program since 2015, told Rappler on Wednesday, December 19, that he will return to his post as the head coach of the Soaring Falcons for the “long haul.”
“Let’s put it this way – I’ll be with them for the long haul,” said Pumaren. “Yes, in principle I’ll be coming back. I still have unfinished business.”
Pumaren’s statement should provide clarity for the Adamson community. The former DLSU Green Archers player and coach signed a three-year deal when he accepted the role to improve the Soaring Falcons’ culture in 2015. But with his contract set to expire at the end of this year, there were whispers that Pumaren would not return for Season 82 of the UAAP.
There was talk that the 55-year-old mentor would give politics another chance, as well as whispers from others who claimed Pumaren planned to retire from coaching.
On Wednesday, Tribune cited a “highly-placed” source saying that Soaring Falcons management would not renew Pumaren’s contract.
The fiery head coach, who said he still has the “juice” and is not considering retirement, remains steadfast in his mission of bringing Adamson a title.
“Championship delayed but not championship denied,” he said. “We want it to come into reality.”
Adamson's athletic director Fr. Aldrin R. Suan, CM also denied the report, calling it "fake news."
“We are still in the process of addressing the details of his renewal,” said Suan, noting that Pumaren will be back on board.
“Definitely as my stand as an athletic director, I am for the renewal of coach Franz. I am recommending for the renewal of coach Franz because of his overwhelming performance for the past 3 years.
“It’s fake news, not official from the university.”
With Pumaren calling the shots, Adamson has improved as each of the past 3 seasons have passed by. The five-time champion coach took over a team that went 3-11 under Mike Fermin and quickly bolstered it with talented, blue-chip recruits who turned the Soaring Falcons in to an 8-6 squad that reached the Final Four as the No. 4 seed in 2016.
The year after, Adamson improved to 9-5 and made the Final Four again as the No. 3 seed. This season, the Soaring Falcons ended the elims with a 10-4 record to claim the No. 2 spot, which came with a twice-to-beat advantage against No. 3 UP.
Unfortunately for Adamson, it caught UP at the wrong time as a surging Fighting Maroons club overcame their twice-to-beat edge to reach the title round.
The Soaring Falcons are still seeking their first finals appearance under Pumaren, who's confident his team will still be formidable despite the graduation of Sean Manganti and Jerie Pingoy.
“We are still going to be a pretty solid team,” said Pumaren. – Rappler.com