DESPITE all the talk about Adamson coach Franz Pumaren taking on La Salle for the first time, the multi-titled coach is treating it as a regular game that the Falcons simply need to win.
Pumaren will coach against La Salle for the first time in his checkered college career on Saturday as the Falcons face the Archers in the 79th UAAP basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Archers won five UAAP crowns in a decade under Pumaren.
“I’ve been asked if I’m excited to face La Salle. To be candid about it, I was excited for my first game against UP because it’s a welcome thing for me coaching in the collegiate level again,” said Pumaren.
As for the La Salle match, Pumaren dismissed it, saying, “It’s one of those games on the schedule.”
The Falcons and Archers clash at 2 p.m.
The second-place Falcons, sporting a 3-1 win-loss slate, look to continue their winning run as they battle the unbeaten league-leading Green Archers. A win will secure Adamson a share of first place.
The Falcons are playing the second match in four days, and third over the last four playdates.
“I’m not going to use it as an alibi. Coming off a killer schedule, we just have to dig deep for us to compete against powerhouse La Salle,” said Pumaren.
Despite the hectic schedule, Adamson has been winning with flying colors. The Falcons were able to extend their winning run by beating National University on Wednesday.
But La Salle, now under new coach Aldin Ayo, is a different team.
“They are the hands-down favorite,” said Pumaren. “You just have to look at their line-up. It’s quite deep from 1 to 16.”
The Green Archers stayed unbeaten last Sunday after beating NU, with Jeron Teng leading the scoreres and Ben Mbala putting up a double-double.
An interesting match-up will be the battle in the paint between imports Ben Mbala of La Salle and Papi Sarr of Adamson.