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Adamson coach Franz Pumaren thought his young team would need another year before achieving its immediate goal of making the UAAP Final Four.
But after clinching the last Final Four berth this season, Pumaren believes the Falcons will have to gain even against the mighty La Salle Green Archers in their showdown on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Falcons, who went 8-6 in the double-round eliminations, need to beat the Green Archers twice to pull off a stunning upset in their Final Four encounter.
“Our mindset is we have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Pumaren said after Adamson fell 73-67 to Ateneo at the close of the elims last Wednesday at the MOA Arena.
Pumaren even fired a shot against his former team, which he steered to five championships including a four-peat from 1998-2001, saying the Green Archers, with their deep lineup led by Most Valuable Player Ben Mbala and Jeron Teng, should have swept the eliminations.
“They’re supposed to be 14-0 with that kind of lineup and they should be dominating the UAAP,” said Pumaren. “We’re playing against the best player in the UAAP (Mbala) and we’re playing the best No. 3 guy who is rich in championship experience. We just gonna enjoy the party and probably play loosely in the Final Four.”
The Falcons made the Final Four after winning four straight games in the second round. Pumaren got plenty of contributions from Cameroonian center Papi Sarr, guard Rob Mañalang and Jonathan Espeleta and forward Sean Manganti.
Adamson lost both games to La Salle in the eliminations.