MANILA, Philippines – For two straight playoff games, the Adamson Soaring Falcons came tantalizingly close to reaching the UAAP finals
However, it just wasn't meant to be as the UP Fighting Maroons muffed Adamson’s twice-to-beat advantage and advanced to their first finals in 32 years last season.
With the haunting memories of #AtinTo etched on their minds, the Falcons head to Season 82 with no other goal than getting back to where they were and finishing the job this time around.
"It’s more of motivation. It’s a drive in me that I haven’t forgotten ever since that day we lost,” said team sniper Jerrick Ahanmisi. “It’s just gonna be more of an energizer for me whenever I play the game. Hopefully, the vets know and they keep that in the back of their minds too.”
“Everybody’s gonna want to beat us this year,” he continued.
“Aside from motivation, I think it was a learning experience for us,” added head coach Franz Pumaren. “We were in the playoffs. I think it gained us something especially the younger guys.”
Now left to lead Adamson without former captain Sean Manganti, Pumaren is raring to see what their talented rookie batch can bring at the collegiate level.
The Falcons cleaned house at the high school level after successfully recruiting Baby Falcon stars Joem Sabandal, AP Manlapaz and brothers Adam and Andrey Doria.
To top it all off, they even lured former NCAA Season 94 juniors Mythical Five member Aaron Fermin to boost their front court talent.
“Well, if you look at their potential, I think [it’s] there,” said the multi-titled Pumaren. “The question is there’s no guarantee if you’re a good or great high school player that you will have a smooth transition from high school to college. That remains to be seen.”
“They just have to fast-track their adjustment to the collegiate level,” he continued.
While Pumaren is not expecting that a dramatic leap is bound to happen after a 10-4 finish last season, he’s remaining optimistic about their chances to compete.
“Everybody wants to be in the playoffs. That’s our main objective,” he said. “We have a good vision for the basketball program here. I must say we’re proud of our program right now.” – Rappler.com