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Franz Pumaren, Altamirano, Ayo give takes ahead of quarterfinal clashes

By Ivan Saldajeno

SAN JUAN, MM--Heading into the quarterfinals of the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup, Coaches Franz Pumaren, Eric Altamirano, and Aldin Ayo shared their respective sentiments.

For the Adamson coach, making into the playoffs of the prestigious preseason tourney is already an overachievement for them.

"We're surprised that we even made the quarterfinals. First of all, joining this tournament is for us to get exposed, for the coaching staff to assess the team, for the players to get the feel of playing under me," said Pumaren, whose Soaring Falcons take on the Bulldogs.

For the NU gaffer, meanwhile, the learning process continues for the team.

"We just try to play and learn from each game. Sabi ko nga, 'Sana itong FilOil na ito will enable us to develop our character,'" Altamirano said.

However, all eyes are on the La Salle mentor, who steered the team to a 7-0 sweep of the group stages but faces a stiff opposition in reigning UAAP champs and PCCL co-champs FEU in a potential UAAP Finals preview.

"Maganda [yung La Salle-FEU]. Maraming nagsasabi sa amin na kami ang malakas, pero sabi ni Coach Nash [Racela], 'Di mo masasabing malakas hangga't di mo nakakalaban [ang champions].' Gusto ko na rin silang makalaban kasi sila ang defending champions. Gusto naming ma-gauge kung kaya na ba namin sila o hindi pa," Ayo gave his sentiments on the colossal clash.

The Falcons collide with the Bulldogs at 1:30 p.m., while the Tamaraws lock horns with the Green Archers at 5 p.m. in two of the four scheduled win-or-go-home quarterfinals on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

In the other knockout matches, Perpetual Help takes on Ateneo at 11:15 a.m., while defending FilOil champs San Beda clashes with Arellano at 3:15 p.m.

The winner of the curtain-raiser battles the victor of the nightcap in one knockout semifinal on Friday also at the said venue, while the other two quarterfinal survivors face off in the other semifinal.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno