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Adamson Soaring Falcons: What Might be the Bigger Surprise of the Season

Adamson Soaring Falcons – Team Overview

Year of entry to the UAAP: 1952
Number of Championships: 1
Last Championship: 1978
Last Season’s Record: 3-11 (.214) – DNQ for the Final Four

Coaching Staff:

Head Coach: Franz Pumaren (1st year)

Assistant Coaches:
Tonichi Yturri
Jack Santiago
Ren-Ren Ritualo
Don Allado
Mike Fermin

Notable Players:

Pappi Sarr
JD Tungcab
Dawn Ochea
Harold Ng

Key Additions:

Rob Manalang (PG)
Terrence Mustre (SG)
Nico Paranada (PG)
Jerrick Ahanmisi (SG)
Jimboy Pasturan (Combo Guard)
Sean Manganti (Center)

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The last time the Adamson Soaring Falcons finish on the top of the UAAP hill was in 1978 bannered by soon to be one of the greatest point guards in Asia, Hector “The Director” Calma. It took a while for the boys from San Marcelino to achieve the level of relevancy in the Men’s Basketball competition.

In the mid 90’s, the Falcons paraded a potent triumvirate composed of twin-towers Marlou Aquino and Edward Joseph Feihl and the high scoring Kenneth Duremdes. All three will be relevant to Philippine Basketball in the years to come but never won a championship for their alma mater no thanks to the University of Santo Tomas’ 4-year title run from 1993 to 1996. The next time the Adamson Soaring will be in the playoff picture was in 2004 bannered by then season Most Valuable Player Ken Bono with Luigi Trillo at the coaching helm.

Despite underperforming in most UAAP basketball tournaments except in the aforementioned era, unknown to many, the Adamson basketball program has produced over the years a considerable number of players who made their mark in the pro-league namely Eddie Laure, Gherome Ejercito, Jericho Cruz, Don Trollano, Chad Alonzo, Patrick Cabahug, Jerrick Canada, Eric Camson, Alex Nuyles and Rodney Brondial to name a few.

UAAP Season 79 Adamson Soaring Falcons

Will the Falcons be the surprise team for this season? The championship standard… Top caliber coaches joining Coach Franz Pumaren along the sidelines of the San Marcelino based squad.

But for this year’s UAAP basketball campaign, Adamson would like to bury the image of just being a “participant” to being a legitimate contender. The first move towards that championship direction was the hiring of multi-titled Head Coach Franz Pumaren. Pumaren, owner of five championships with the De La Salle Green Archers brought with him a potent cast of assistant coaches from long time deputies Jack Santiago and Tonichi Yturri and former players from that golden generation Ren Ren Ritualo and Don Allado. Last year’s head coach Mike Fermin was also appointed as one of the assistant coaches.

Adamson Soaring Falcons - The author with Tonichi Yturri

The author with Tonichi Yturri

Talking to long-time Pumaren assistant Coach Tonichi Yturri, he said that Pumaren’s entry to the Falcons’ nest signals the change of culture in the school’s senior men’s basketball program. Coming in they would not just participate but really compete for grand prize. And testament to that infusion of the championship culture over at San Marcelino is the inclusion of former La Salle Super Stars Ren Ren Ritualo and Don Alldo, two players who won championships with Pumaren into the coaching staff.

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Yturri describes the addition of the Ritualo and Allado to the coaching staff helps Coach Franz and the other assistant coaches see the finer aspects of the game specifically the timing and movement of the players. Yturri added that their line-up may not as talented as La Salle or FEU may present but they would have to maximize whatever materials that they have and go to battle with the cards that they were dealt. They would not want to dwell on their weaknesses rather they would want to discover the positive things they can do with what they have right now.

Adamson Soaring Falcons - The author with Don Allado

The author with Don Allado

Sitting down with Don Allado, he said that he is honored to assist his former mentor at De La Salle and to pass on what he had learned to the young guys. Coming in he said, they are bringing that culture of championship into the Adamson realm and one way that culture is manifested is setting a high standard, a standard they were used to playing under Pumaren and making their young players accountable in upholding and playing with that high standard every game.

Adamson Soaring Falcons - The author with Ren Ren Ritualo

The author with Ren Ren Ritualo.

While Don Allado is particulary in charge of training the bigs, Ren Ren Ritualo is passing on to the next generation his marksmanship especially beyond the arc. He is focused on training their shooters to shoot in the proper form and their shot selection.

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Focus will be on how good Jerrick Ahanmisi, the brother of Rain or Shine rookie Maverick will play against his counterparts this UAAP season 79. Will he be the messiah for the Falcons and enable them to at least grab a seat in the final four? The answers rest in the hands of the newly re-tooled Adamson Falcons. Sky is the limit for them and we are in for a surprise.

NB: The author would want to thank Mr. Migs Bustos and Mr. Ren Ren Ritualo for making this story possible.

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