THE losses are piling up and Franz Pumaren hopes it's not too late by the time Air21 finds a natural point guard.
Pumaren admitted the Express have yet to find a backup to lone healthy playmaker Wynne Arboleda as sophomore Simon Atkins continue to ride the bench owing to a hamstring injury.
So far, the team is in the cellar of the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup with a lowly 1-7 record halfway through the eliminations.
The situation has become so desperate for the Express that Pumaren had to convert shooting guards Bonbon Custodio and Joseph as playmakers to compensate for the team’s lack of point guards.
“For us, it’s (additional point guard) a never-ending search to be competitive. Just tough luck that Simon is still hurt. He’s still out because he aggravated his injury, that’s why if you notice, at some stretch, Joseph plays the point (guard position),” Pumaren told Spin.ph.
While recent developments saw Air21 acquire several former La Salle players such as Carlo Sharma, Yeo, and later on Macmac Cardona, Pumaren said he isn’t limiting his choices to just acquiring ex-Green Archers via trade.
But Pumaren said Tyrone Tang, considered one of coach Yeng Guiao’s shock troopers at Rain or Shine, could be a valuable asset any time, but isn’t inclined to make any offer to the Elasto Painters at this point.
“But he’s playing well also. If you look at him, in one game, he even was the best player despite just playing 21 minutes for Rain or Shine,” explained Pumaren, a longtime coach of the Taft-based school.
At the same time, the Air21 mentor said a player of Tang’s caliber may not be easy to acquire from Rain or Shine.
“Ang problem lang sa amin, we need to beef up our point guard. We’re not asking for a big-time point guard, but just someone who can bring steady leadership kasi scoring naman wala kaming problem eh,” he added.
Air21 returns to action on Sunday against defending Philippine Cup champion Talk ‘N Text as it tries to snap a two-game losing skein.