ADAMSON coach Franz Pumaren sees their Final Four appearance last year as the result of other teams taking them lightly during the Season 79 campaign in the UAAP.
This season, though, Pumaren doesn't see that happening again with the Falcons pegged as a Final Four contender for this year.
"I don't think other teams will take us lightly unlike last year," said Pumaren. "Probably they took us lightly that is why we pulled off some surprises.”
"This year, I don't think that will be the case," he added.
In his first year with Adamson, Pumaren turned the Falcons into instant contenders after clinching a Final Four berth and giving eventual champions La Salle a tough fight.
Adamson took the fourth spot at the end of the eliminations with an 8-6 win-loss record, and took top-seed and reigning champion La Salle to the hilt in their Final Four match before bowing to the Green Archers, 69-64.
Though he wasn't able to bring the crown to Adamson unlike in his La Salle coaching debut in 1998 season, many saw Adamson's accomplishment as a testament to Pumaren's capability as a coach.
In order to reach the Final Four again, Pumaren will have to do it with a young nucleus that includes Jerrick Ahanmisi, Sean Manganti, Robbie Manalang, and rookie Tyrus Hill.
Holdovers for Adamson include Papi Sarr, Dawn Ochea, Kristian Bernardo, and Simon Camacho, all of which, however, have only had at least three years of playing experience in the UAAP.
"We are a very young team," said Pumaren. "Ochea, Sarr, Bernardo, and Camacho probably are the ones that we can say have experience because they have been playing for three years. The rest are rookies and sophomores."
Still, Pumaren is aiming for nothing but another Final Four spot, with the hope that they can even do better with the young nucleus the Falcons have in his second year at the helm.
"We have to wait and see. Hopefully, we can perform better than last season," said Pumaren.