FRANZ Pumaren won’t take this one sitting down.
The Air21 mentor gave Barako Bull team consultant Rajko Toroman an earful for calling a timeout late in the Energy Cola’s 103-94 win over the Express in the PBA Governors Cup on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Pumaren found the act `insulting’ as the outcome of the match was already beyond doubt in the final 25 seconds when former national coach Toroman sued for time.
“I just told him (Toroman) that what he did is just like insulting us. You don’t do that (time out with a big lead) here in our culture,” said a fuming Pumaren, explaining the exchange of words he had with the Serbian coach at centercourt shortly after the game.
“I mean, up by nine points and you’re gonna call a timeout? What is he (Toroman) trying to prove? You don’t do that here (in the PBA). Even in the NBA, you don’t do that. Twenty-five seconds. Nine points and you’re gonna call a timeout? That’s bull___,” added the Air21 mentor.
Pumaren, who’s in his second season coaching the Express, said if Toroman did the same thing to other PBA coaches like Tim Cone, Norman Black, or even Yeng Guiao, the Barako Bull mentor would surely feel their wrath as well.
“Buti nga I’m quite an angel. I mean, if he does that to Tim Cone, Yeng, or even Norman Black, they wouldn’t appreciate what he did,” he said.
“What’s so disappointing is he’s got Filipino assistant coaches who should have told him about not doing that.”
For his part, Toroman explained his endgame timeout was intended to map out an offensive play either for import Michael Singletary or shooter Ronjay Buenafe in anticipation of Air21 possibly giving up a foul in Barako Bull’s possession.
“I didn’t want to insult anybody when I called the timeout,” said Toroman.” “I always showed respect to coaches and other players. That (endgame confrontation by Pumaren) is the first time in my career in 25 years that somebody is complaining about my behavior. I don’t really understand that.”
The former national coach said if he were in Pumaren’s shoes, he would opt to foul in the hope of catching up late in the game.
“It was still 25 seconds. But I will foul if I’m in their (Express) place and try to do a miracle (comeback),” he added.
Interestingly, Sunday’s meeting between Toroman and Pumaren won’t be their last since the teams of the coaches practice at the same venue - the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong City which, incidentally, is owned by Pumaren.