THE chief patron of the Adamson Falcons has confirmed the school is in talks with Franz Pumaren on the team's head-coaching position as they lay the foundation for an ambitious bid to revive the fortunes of the long-suffering UAAP team.
Falcons’ chief patron and Akari president Christopher Tiu bared picking the right coach is just the first step in building a strong foundation for a team which won its only UAAP championship in 1977 with a team bannered by Hector Calma.
Tiu told Spin.ph the group will spare no expense in turning the Falcons into a force to be reckoned with in the country's premier college league.
“Our organization wanted to help and give the best for the school. Since we are already supporting it, we want the best for the school,” said Tiu, who confirmed they are now negotiating with Pumaren and four other candidates for the head coaching job of the Falcons currently held in an interim capacity by Mike Fermin.
Akari sports director Russell Balbacal confirmed they have met with Pumaren, who, according to sources, sat down with the big wigs of the country’s top lighting and electrical brand on Wednesday night.
“Yes, we already talked to him (Pumaren). Of course, he is high on the list. That I can confirm,” said Balbacal. “Sa ngayon kasi may iba pang coaches na involved, kailangan pa namin silang kausapin.”
Balbacal also believes their group is in for a long haul and that whoever is picked as the next coach will be given ample time to support to rebuild a team that ended the past two seasons at the bottom of the standings.
“It is not going to be an easy process, but we will be patient and we will support whoever is picked as the next head coach,” he said.
Aside from Pumaren, the other identified candidate are former San Beda head coaches Frankie Lim and Ronnie Magsanoc.
However, Falcons insiders bared that Pumaren already has the inside track to the position, as both Tiu and Balbacal are like the coach graduates of La Salle.
Asked how he feels that the five-time UAAP champion coach is free to take the Falcons job after being left out in the coaching search at La Salle, Balbacal bared mixed feelings.
“Yes, we are thrilled at the idea (that Pumaren is free to take our offer). But with respect to our alma mater (La Salle), we don’t want to get misquoted (about how La Salle did not pick Pumaren),” he said.
Akari has long been a supporter and sponsor of the UAAP, where the Japan-based company's logo appearing on the roll-tech ad billboard at courtside. The electrical brand recently tapped UAAP stars Jeron Teng and Kiefer Ravena as endorsers.
With Pumaren on track to become the next head coach of Adamson, some La Salle alumni are not too happy to see the the Green Archers management go for Letran champion mentor Aldin Ayo.
Paul 'Nike' Mora, longtime moderator and elder of La Salle’s alumni association Gang-Green, expressed frustration that their preferred coach is going somewhere else.
“Our preference has always been Franz, a good majority of the (LA Salle) alumni would want to have Franz come back, but however we have to respect the powers that be,” said Mora.
“ECJ (Danding Cojuangco) is the one spending for everything so I think it is his right to make a choice. We are disappointed but at that same time, we have to support the team. For us, the bigger picture is the school,” he added.
“It’s beyond our control. We just have to accept it.”