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    Pumaren rues Falcons' 'lack of mental toughness' after meltdown vs UP

    Oct 22, 2019
    PHOTO: marlo cueto

    ANTIPOLO - A crack guard during a long career at La Salle, San Miguel and with the national team, Adamson coach Franz Pumaren couldn't hide his frustration after his backcourt crumbled in a 81-77 loss to University of the Philippines on Sunday.

    "Let’s put it this way: Probably if I'm the one playing up to now, I don’t think we’ll lose that game," said Pumaren after watching in horror as the Soaring Falcons squandered a 12-point lead, 72-60, in the final 7:10 minutes.

    Guys like Valandre Chauca, Jerrick Ahanmisi, and Jerom Lastimosa found themselves shellshocked as the Fighting Maroons went on a 21-5 assault to put away the come-from-behind victory.

    Adamson dropped to a lowly 4-7 card after its second loss to UP in the eliminations, in danger of bowing out of the Final Four race this UAAP Season 82.

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    Pumaren refused to sugarcoat his statements when asked what went wrong.

    "It’s [lack of] mental toughness and of course, experience. Sometimes you will get that experience the hard way, it’s gonna be a hurting experience. But for me down the road, this kind of situation will make us a better team, better players. I guess if you look at the whole scenario, the mistakes we made are beyond our control," he said.

    Adamson needs to regroup in time for a game Far Eastern University on Wednesday. And for Pumaren, the first step for the players is to acknowledge what you did wrong.

    "I can be brutally frank and I can say what I saw and what people saw. But for me, at this stage, there's no need for me to sugarcoat," he added. "I say what I see and it’s up to you to accept it. If you go back to your shell, it’s gonna speak highly of yourself.

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    "You have to take this as a challenge, you prove yourself that you’re a better player, and you can come back come Wednesday."

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    PHOTO: marlo cueto
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