Franz Pumaren admits cutting European trip short in wake of GlobalPort meltdown
The decision to rush home from Europe after GlobalPort blew a 26-point lead against Phoenix didn’t come cheap, says coach Franz Pumaren. Jaime Campos

FRANZ Pumaren admitted having to cut short his European business trip during the holiday season in light of GlobalPort’s heartbreaking loss to Phoenix in the PBA Philippine Cup last week.

The Batang Pier coach was in Italy and Paris when the team dropped a heartbreaking 101-99 loss to the Fuel Masters last December 28 in a game where they led by as much as 26 points in the fourth quarter.

The setback prompted the veteran mentor to return to the country as soon as possible.

“I had to cut my trip short because of that loss against Phoenix and I don’t want the team to feel that I abandoned them. So I had to rush home,” said Pumaren on Friday after the Batang Pier bounced back with a 97-89 win over Meralco at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The decision to rush home didn’t come cheap, according to Pumaren.

“It cost me additionals,” he said about the re-booking he had to do in order to join the team for the rest of the holidays.

Pressed further on the rebooking cost, Pumaren whispered the amount of $2,300.

“It’s a good thing we won, mababawasan yung expenses ko with the bonus.”

Pumaren said the trip was more about business than pleasure as he had to talk to some suppliers in Europe.

“Just for the record, my trip was more of a business thing. Management knows about it even prior to me signing up with them,” he stressed. “I wasn’t even supposed to be back right away. I had to rush back because of that game.”

In his absence, lead deputy Cholo Villanueva called the shots for the Batang Pier.

Pumaren didn’t deny that he had to be a little bit hard on the on the players following the loss to Phoenix.

But the win over the Bolts had the Batang Pier putting the bad experience behind them.

“With this game and with this victory, it eases a little bit of pressure on the player,” said the Globalport coach. “At least they know that if we just play within our game plan, we can survive that kind of a run from the other team even if we’re ahead.”

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