By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
ENTERING Season 82 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, the Adamson Soaring Falcons knew they have their work cut out for them not only because of the souped-up competition but also the retooling they made which has resulted in them parading one of the younger teams in the league.
The Falcons had a rude opening to the brand-new season, falling to the defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles, 70-52, on opening day on Sept. 4.
They, however, bounced back in their next game last Saturday but not after having made to sweat by the National University Bulldogs that had them winning narrowly, 84-83, in overtime.
New foreign player Lenda Douanga of Congo pulled Adamson in the victory, draining the game-winning triple as time expired.
Falcons coach Franz Pumaren said after that the win was huge for a team like them who are still finding their way through with the personnel they have even as he expressed hope that the improvement continues for the team as the season progresses.
“Well, we needed that win. I guess we were searching for the right combination. I think that’s the downside of having a young team, having some new guys. We’re still searching for the right chemistry,” said Mr. Pumaren in the postgame press conference.
“This was a hard game especially coming off the first game versus Ateneo. What we saw the last time around was really not the Adamson team that we projected. That’s why this win is so important for us, for us to really settle down and show what we’re capable of doing,” he added.
Adamson, a losing semifinalist last year, lost some key cogs from Season 81 in the offseason like Sean Manganti, Jerie Pingol, Jonathan Espeleta and foreign player Papi Sarr for various reasons.
In their place were the likes of Brandon Chauca, Joem Sabandal, Aaron Fermin, Joshua Yerro, Adrian Manlapaz and Douanga, who was selected over Parr as the team’s foreign reinforcement.
The Falcons are hoping that the new players get to do their share in seeing the team’s cause through in tandem with holders Jerrick Ahanmisi, Simon Camacho, Kristian Beranrdo and Jerom Lastimosa.
Mr. Pumaren said work still lies ahead for them but he nonetheless believes his team can deliver provided they stick to the system that they have and believe in their collective abilities.
“If we make sure that we play within the system, we’ll be okay,” said the Adamson coach.
Adding, “We have to understand, we are not a dominant team. We are a team that can compete if we will work in a collective manner. This one (NU game) is a good test for us, that even though we were down, even though we were trailing most of the time in the fourth quarter, we were able to come back. I think this type of game will help us down the road. It’s good for us.”
Next for Adamson is the game versus the University of the East on Wednesday, Sept. 11.