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    No deliberate effort to gather former La Salle players at Air21, insists Pumaren

    Sep 12, 2013

    WITH the acquisition of scorer Joseph Yeo, Air21 Express coach Franz Pumaren believes he has built a strong core for his team.

    But the multi-titled UAAP mentor insists the Express have to improve the depth in some areas to become a title contender in the pro league.

    “Mga two or three role players pa siguro, go na go na ito,” said Pumaren on Tuesday after Air21 pulled off a pair of major deals that saw the arrival of Yeo and veteran big man Asi Taulava.

    One area that Pumaren is looking to address is Air21's point guard spot, which suddenly became shallow following the decision to give up Mike Cortez in the trade for the rights to Taulava.

    Pumaren's team, however, is now more solid in the two-guard position with the arrival of Yeo, who the coach disclosed he has been trying to get since January.

    (For full story, see Yeo next target as Air21 looks to finally take off)

    “Joseph is a welcome addition to our team. We all know we lacked somebody in that position. But you very well know what he can give us,” said the former PBA superstar.

    Despite the growing presence of former La Salle players in his team, Pumaren insisted there is no deliberate effort on his part to round up his former college players at the Air21 camp.

    Despite the departure of Cortez, Pumaren still has four former Archers in his lineup in Renren Ritualo, Carlo Sharma, Simon Atkins and Yeo.

    Continue reading below ↓

    “La Sallistas in the team just happened eh,” said the former Green Archers coach. “They’re the ones available kasi when we trade eh.”

    “Still ang importante sa akin is how we can complete a working and conforming lineup,” he added. “La Salle formula is effective back in the UAAP, pero at the end of the day you will still need the right materials.

    “If I have the material, La Sallista man o hindi, tapos we use the same system we used at La Salle, I think it will be okay in the PBA."

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