Adamson Falcons looking to make a lot of noise
by rick olivares
When the FilOil Flying V Premier Cup tips off this coming Monday, May 1 at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan, all eyes will also be on the Adamson University Soaring Falcons.
Head coach Franz Pumaren, now in his second season at the helm of the San Marcelino-based squad, made waves for the sterling program that was put in place and made an immediate impact in the last UAAP season.
The Soaring Falcons finished with an 8-6 record and made the semi-finals where they were ousted by eventual champion, La Salle. Now a year older and with more experience, a return trip to the UAAP Final Four isn’t only in the cards. They plan on actually challenging for the much coveted college basketball title.
Pumaren listed 21 players for the summer cage tournament. Of that list, only 16 will be lined up for the UAAP tournament that follows a little over two months after the end of the Premier Cup.
Yet from last year’s squad, gone are JD Tungcab, Jonathan Pasturan who is now with the College of St. Benilde Blazers, Harold Ng, and Jonathan Ballon who were all cut from the team.
The prominent holdovers are shooting guard Jerrick Ahanmisi; forward centers Kristian Bernardo, Simon Camacho, Dawn Ochea, and Papi Sarr; point guards Robbi Manalang, Jonathan Espeleta, and Terrence Mustre; and forward Sean Manganti.
Looking to make the squad are point guard Jerie Pingoy who looks to continue his college career after a difficult time at Ateneo. Other newcomers include the David brothers Japeth and Jopeth, Leo Frias, Tyrus Hill, Alex Noble, and the mysteriously named Kobe Bryan Vizcarra.
Should Pingoy make the squad, we wonder who will be cut unless someone slides to the two-spot to back-up Ahanmisi.
Adamson was the third-ranked defensive team in the UAAP last season; right behind leader Far Eastern University and Ateneo. Yet even with Sarr and Camacho among the best shot blockers in the league, Adamson surrendered the most points inside the paint with 13.3 points per game.
Offensively, they were even better behind the dynamic shooting of Ahanmisi, the clutch points of Manalang, and the inside presence of Papi Sarr. They were second only to La Salle in offensive output.
With a year of learning the Pumaren system, according to team assistant Awoo Lacson during the last Premier Cup coaches meeting, “The goal is to improve defensively and to be better in every aspect. That is what we aim to do this summer and see how we adjust and perform come the UAAP.”
The Falcons play the Jiovani Jalalon-less Arellano University Chiefs this May 1 at 5:15pm.
Tickets to the FilOil Flying V Premier Cup can be purchased at all Ticketnet branches as well as the gate of the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.