Adamson Falcons head coach Franz Pumaren was worried his team would just give up when they were trailing by a double-digit deficit in the last quarter against Ateneo Blue Eagles.
But all signs of fear got washed away as his wards fought gallantly until the end and managed to cap a magical run with a Dawn Ochea game winner in the dying seconds.
“I admire and salute my players because they accepted my challenge,” Pumaren said after hacking out a 62-61 come-from-behind win over Ateneo on Saturday.
“I should appreciate my players right now, probably the old Adamson team will easily fold up but this time around they showed their true character,” he added.
Adamson has been a bottom dweller for the last few years, but Pumaren’s entry to the Falcons camp brought a change of culture that was expected from a multi-titled coach.
Clearly, the air up there in San Marcelino feels a little different now as the Falcons are slowly shedding away their whipping boys tag and proving they’re a Final Four contender as the season progresses.
For Pumaren, instilling the no-quit attitude was on top of his list.
“That’s the culture I’m trying to employ to Adamson right now. To make sure we don’t drift away, we just hang around, and down the stretch we can pull a good win,” he said.
The big win is an encouraging sign for Pumaren that their hard work in the off-season isn’t going for naught.
“I’ve been hard on them because I feel they deserve to be a better team than what they’re showing for the last years. I’m so happy we didn’t quit,” he said. – By John Chester Fajardo
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