FRANZ Pumaren said he is looking forward to another "challenge" as he weighs his options after the sale of Air21's PBA franchise to NLEX.
Pumaren is coming off an impressive campaign with the Express in the season’s last two conferences, having led Air21 to its first-ever semifinal appearance in the Commissioner’s Cup and quarterfinal stint in the Governors Cup where it was ousted by current finalist Rain or Shine.
With his Air21 contract set to expire and NLEX likely to bring up the coaching staff from its successful D-League team led by Boyet Fernandez, Pumaren is on wait-and-see mode.
Pumaren, however, hinted that he would love another challenge like the one he took at Air21, which he turned from a perennial cellar-dweller into a playoff contender in his three years in charge.
“Let’s put it this way, I’d like to say I love challenges," the former De La Salle coach in the UAAP said. "Kasi nakita mo naman what happened to Air21 this season.”
In fact, Pumaren said Air21's turnaround this season has made it appealing for a takeover by NLEX.
“Who would have thought that Air21 will play well this season? I don’t think kukunin kami ng NLEX if we didn’t play that well,” he said.
Pumaren's name has been linked to a couple of coaching jobs, including GlobalPort which has failed to make an impression in two seasons in the league.
GlobalPort’s alternate board governor Erick Arejola said the team is sticking with Pido Jarencio but made it clear the team has an open slot in its coaching staff.
There is also a strong clamor to bring Pumaren back to San Miguel, the team he played for during his career.