IT was a reunion of sorts for coach Franz Pumaren and his former point guard TY Tang.
Only this time, they called the shots for opposing sides.
Seeing his former star guard calling the shots from the other end for Benilde gave Pumaren a weird feeling, but it didn't stop him from leading Adamson to a 70-59 win in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup on Sunday.
Still, the veteran tactician, who won multiple championships with Tang at La Salle, was more than happy to see start to make a name for himself in his foray into coaching.
"Right now, his team is still a work in progress but you can see the big improvement," said Pumaren, whose team played Benilde in another tournament a couple of months ago.
"There's a dramatic jump from the way they're playing. They just have to start playing smart. The effort is there already, they just have to play consistently."
"One thing I noticed is that the players are starting to embrace what TY is teaching them. The system will help them in the NCAA," he added.
With Tang at the helm, the concurrent GlobalPort coach in the PBA believes the team that won a single match in the NCAA last season is in good hands.
"This one is just a baptism of fire for him. For sure he can pull off some surprises. I think they made the right decision in giving him the program," said Pumaren, adding Tang can make for a great coach someday.
"He played for me for five years. In fact I was planning to get him as one of my assistant coaches because I know what he's capable of doing: he's smart, he knows the game, and he's a winner. He has a good potential as a coach, and he's showed it already."
But he noted that if they are to contend in the upcoming season, the Blazers will need closers who Tang can rely on with the game on the line.
"At the end of the day, you need players who can make the game close, somebody you can depend on in the closing minutes," he said.