After undergoing an emergency procedure to remove kidney stones last Tuesday, no one would fault Adamson Soaring Falcons head coach Franz Pumaren if he would have opted to take a medical leave.
Instead, the 55-year-old fiery mentor returned to the sidelines just a day removed from surgery in the team’s 80-74 loss against Ateneo earlier this week. Pumaren, who was advised by his doctors not to go on long drives, still braved through the horrendous Manila traffic and helped steer his wards to a dominating 72-53 win over National University on Saturday. The pivotal win snapped Adamson’s ugly four-game slide and kept the team in a hunt for a Final Four spot in UAAP Season 82.
Jerrick Ahanmisi, who top-scored for the Falcons with 15 points built on three makes from distance, said Pumaren’s dedication to be with his team certainly lit a fire under them.
“Well for me ever since I heard of that operation, I just try to pray every game. It’s already a struggle for him going to the game because he should be resting. Once I heard that, I just felt like we really need to all play as a team, he’s already putting an effort to go to the game so why not give back to him,” he said.
His teammate AP Manlapaz shared the same sentiment and lauded their head coach for defying doctor’s orders just so he could continue coaching the team.
“Gaya ng sabi ni Jerrick, effort talaga para kay coach na pumunta pa ng game eh. Kasi hindi naman siya advisable para pumunta pa sa game tapos pumupunta pa rin siya para samin. Parang samin, nilalaro talaga namin nang maayos para makatulong sa kanya at para sa team na rin,” the high-flying wing, who came off the bench and scored 10 of his 14 points in the final canto, added.
With four games remaining in their eliminations campaign, Adamson is currently sitting at 6th place with a 4-6 record. The Falcons will enjoy a week off before returning to action on October 20 against UP.