For Franz Pumaren, coaching college hoops is more enjoyable than PBA

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2020 10:00 PM

Adamson head coach Franz Pumaren. UAAP Media

MANILA, Philippines -- Franz Pumaren has coached in both the amateur and professional levels of basketball, but college hoops remain his true love. 

The multi-titled mentor revealed on the "Coaches Unfiltered" podcast that he finds coaching at the college level more challenging -- and thus, more enjoyable.

"For me, I enjoy college basketball more than PBA," said Pumaren, who made a name for himself as the head coach of De La Salle University in the late 1990s and 2000s, before coaching the Air21 franchise in the PBA.

In 2016, he took over as head coach of Adamson University and has since led them to three straight Final 4 appearances in the UAAP.

"I think it's harder to coach college basketball, especially if you're not part of the so-called big schools, because it's quite challenging," said Pumaren.

"In the PBA, if you have a strong team, you have a sister team, you can get players eh," he added. "You can just renew the contract of your good players eh."

This is not the case in college basketball, where players inevitably leave the team once they graduate. Moreover, there is no assurance that a recruit will pan out, regardless of their high school career.

The uncertainty of the college games makes it all the more exciting for Pumaren, who has won five UAAP crowns with La Salle and is hoping to lead Adamson to a championship breakthrough as well.

"Sa PBA, of course, it's a dream of everybody to coach in the PBA," he said. "But for me, I enjoy more sa college basketball."

That being said, Pumaren also made it clear that coaching in the PBA requires a completely different approach from coaching in the collegiate level.

In the UAAP, he is not just a coach but also a mentor, a guide for the young men in his team.

In the PBA, he works with professionals who are "old enough to know what's best for them."

"(In the PBA), they have their own family. They know that this is their job already," said Pumaren. "(This is) a career already, so they know what it takes to really improve their game. It's entirely different."

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