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UAAP will allow Globalport coach to handle Falcons

By Jerome Lagunzad

Games Saturday
(Mall of Asia Arena)
2 p.m. – UE vs NU
4 p.m. – Ateneo vs Adamson

As far as University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) basketball commissioner Rebo Saguisag is concerned, Franz Pumaren calling the shots for Adamson men’s basketball team and GlobalPort in the pro ranks at the same time is not a pressing issue for the country’s premier collegiate league.

“As far as I know, wala kaming (UAAP) prohibition. You’re free to coach anywhere else you want,” he said recently.

“Lookout na ng school ‘yan and it depends if the coach can divide his time equally. Internal matter na kumbaga. And we’re not here to second guess the wisdom of the (Adamson) administration on who they want as the coach.”

While the UAAP won’t stand in his way in terms of the unfamiliar coaching set-up, Pumaren should still get the approval from the PBA which has an existing rule that prohibits current coaches from assuming the same role in other leagues – be it on the collegiate ranks or other professional tournaments.

A GlobalPort team official, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, disclosed the pro league “won’t make a big deal out of it,” virtually giving Pumaren, a five-time UAAP champion coach all with powerhouse La Salle, the go-signal to continue serving his commitments with Adamson.

When he assumed the Falcons’ job last year, Pumaren initially served as team consultant to the Batang Pier, with former assistant Johnedel Cardel the designated tactician, but eventually assumed the head coaching chores once Adamson saw an end to its title campaign in the Final Four round.

“There’s a way of them going around the issue. It’s not a perfect situation, but that’s a way of skirting, assuming if there’s a rule,” added Saguisag, who is also serving as UAAP’s executive director. “We have (four) days to go and I don’t know if any designations will be changed along the way.”

What won’t change a bit is the prevailing perception that Adamson looms as the biggest threat to La Salle’s title-retention bid, with the Soaring Falcons returning with a solid core led by Cameroon center Papi Sarr, reliable guards Rob Manalang and Jerrick Ahanmisi, and versatile big man Sean Manganti.