FRANZ Pumaren is not pussyfooting in his bid to reform the underperforming Adamson Falcons team, even going to the point of sending home some recalcitrant players.
SPIN.ph caught a glimpse of how Pumaren blew his top as one of his Fil-American cagers tried to engage him in a debate.
The incident recently happened after the player, an incoming sophomore, extended his leave of absence by a week, then opted not to join the team’s practice upon his arrival.
“Medyo matigas rin po kasi talaga ang ulo n'ya, may attitude. Nagkataon, di nagustuhan ni coach Franz yung ginawa niya. Nagulat na lang kami kasi sinagot pa si coach Franz,” said one Adamson player.
The heated argument happened right after the team’s prayer before dismissal.
“What did I tell you before going on a break? ‘Make sure during the break, you do some running.' One thing I don’t like about players are players who love to quit,” said Pumaren to his team.
“First of all you are a student athlete, you are recruited as an athlete, so you should know your role,” he added before turning his gaze to the Fil-foreign player.
Apparently, Pumaren's words did not sit well with the outspoken player, who, feeling alluded to, decided to respond.
“I want to come back (early), but I want to spend time with my son, I haven’t seen my son in 10 months,” said the player. “I want to take care of my family, I work hard.”
Pumaren's voice grew firm from there.
“I don’t care what you do off court. That’s why you were on a break, stop giving me some reasons. If you’ve dealt with other coaches, I am a different one,” said the Quezon City third-district councilor, now visibly fuming. “How can you cite an example that you just arrived, this guy (another player) just arrived. I just want to let you know, here I treat player number one to number 25 the same.”
“If you screw, screw around, you make a mistake, you’re gonna get it from me. I’ve been here in basketball for so long, you can ask anybody, you can ask the coaches, I won’t tolerate any wise guys here,” he added before being cut by Barnes anew.
“I am not a wise guy!” the incoming sophomore interrupted, which only infuriated Pumaren even more.
“Am I referring to you? You talk too much. Are you hurt or what? So keep your mouth shut,” he said angrily.
However, the player refused to back down and continued to engage Pumaren in a war of words.
“What are you gonna do? You’re gonna send me home?” the player said, despite being appeased by teammates and members of the coaching staff.
Pumaren then ended the huddle with a sharp look at the player, a scene witnessed by Akari sports director Russelle Balbacal, whose company is the top sponsor of Adamson’s men’s basketball program.
"You don't throw your weight around here, ha? You have not proven anything yet and look at the way you're acting," he said.
That was it for the player. He was given his ticket back to the US the following day.
Don Allado, former La Salle star under Pumaren and now Adamson assistant coach, was shocked with how the Fil-foreign player had the guts to argue with his coach.
“I was surprised the kid did that. You can’t do that even to the most meek coach, and not against coach Franz, he will eat you alive. He’s one of the most passionate coaches I know. Pasalamat nga siya lay low na si coach, kung dati yun, baka kung ano pa ginawa sa kanya,” said Allado.
“Siguro hindi kilala nung bata si coach Franz, kaya ginanun niya. Pero mali yun,” he added.