ADAMSON Falcons coach Franz Pumaren had no regrets in sending home one erring player, even someone with star potential.
Pumaren insisted that cutting one Fil-American player from the team was the right decision to make because it sent a message to all his players on how serious he is in rebuilding Adamson's long-suffering basketball program.
“There’s no sacred cow in my team. You’re a star player, you play your game, but learn to behave in the team, act like a member of the team, sacrifice with your teammates. No excuses, no special treatment,” said Pumaren.
“Yung sa akin naman dun eh, we want to instill discipline. We want to prove to everybody, especially the players, we won’t tolerate any superstar recruit. You can’t get away with that,” he added.
The veteran coach also remained undaunted when asked if his tough approach could discourage other players from joining Adamson's program.
“Hindi naman, I think what I am doing is for their best interest din. It’s not about basketball lang, it’s about life also,” Pumaren said.
“I always have valid reasons when I do that. I only do that when one player doesn’t shape up or is trying to be above his teammates. That’s not possible,” added the Quezon City third district councilor.
Pumaren has full belief in his method as he takes pride in his track record of discovering and molding some of the best players, most of which are still dominant in the PBA today like Ryan Arana, Willy Wilson, Rico Maierhofer, LA Revilla, JVee Casio, Mac Cardona, Joseph Yeo and Mike Cortez.
The outspoken mentor also had a hand in reinvigorating the careers of Asi Taulava, Sean Anthony, Aldrech Ramos and KG Canaleta, all of whom played for him at Air21 Express.
“They will learn to adjust in their outlook in life, kasi for me, there’s no superstar in the team, there’s no favoritism in my team. Player number one is treated the same as player number 25,” said Pumaren.
“And looking at the list of players I have handled, I can say I am proud of what I did to them. Probably, if I did not guide them right, baka nawala na yung mga players na yun. Note that my players who were drafted were not taken in by teams not just because of their talent, but because of their discipline coming from my system. Most of them are well mannered and respectful,” he added.
With the Falcons now in deep preparations for the coming season, Pumaren wants to temper expectations.
“We’ll get there. Right now, I am just in my first year. We’re still trying to put the pieces together. It will not be easy, same way when I first handled La Salle and Air21,” said the five-time UAAP champion coach.
“One game at a time, one season at a time,” added Pumaren, who hopes to inculcate discipline and his winning tradition to Adamson, which is now ably supported by electrical giant brand Akari.