Nobody told us to get our trophy, says Franz

By Abac Cordero of Philippine Star
Saturday, September 27, 2008

It wasn’t really on purpose that La Salle failed to accept the runner-up trophy last Thursday at the Big Dome following a very painful loss to Ateneo in the UAAP finals.

Coach Franz Pumaren said as the hurting Green Archers locked themselves inside their dugout after the game, nobody really told them that it was time to receive their trophy.

(Related stories on Page 15)

“Nobody told us to come out and accept the trophy,” said Pumaren yesterday. He was no longer as bitter as he was right after Ateneo clinched the title with a 62-51 win.

“Of course we were feeling bad but we were never really told to come out,” said Pumaren, who rued the officiating in the game that turned out to be the last of the season.

According to Pumaren, UAAP president Sergio Cao of host University of the Philippines decided to hand the champion’s trophy to Ateneo, amid all the celebration going on in the court, even if La Salle had not accepted theirs.

“I was told Mr. Cao told Fr. Bernie Oca (of La Salle) that they did not bother to call us because they felt that we were feeling really bad. That’s why we were not told to come out anymore,” said Pumaren.

Pumaren said it has already happened in the past that the runner-up team in the UAAP was no longer asked to come out and accept the trophy.

The Green Archers, their coach added, have already accepted defeat.

“We’re okay now. In fact we’re already looking forward to next year,” said Pumaren, adding that from the Big Dome the Green Archers had a sumptuous dinner in a Chinese restaurant in San Juan.

Last Thursday’s match was the last game for JV Casio in the UAAP, and probably also for Rico Maierhofer who might turn pro since he’s about to finish his studies.

“Whatever Rico’s decision is we have to respect. We will not hold him back. He has played for La Salle for so long and he has given us a title (2007). He’s ripe for the PBA,” said Pumaren.

Pumaren raised the fact that during game the Blue Eagles were awarded 28 free throws (making 18) off 29 fouls called on the Green Archers.

“And compared to us, we were awarded only eight free throws during the entire game where Ateneo only had 13 fouls in 40 minutes of play,” he said.

“It’s quite a disparity. But that’s how the competition goes,” he said.



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