Comment from Philstar.com
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Executive Director, Noli Eala criticized RP Youth coach Franz Pumaren for the unbelievable act of leaving his team in the final game of an international tournament for an inter-collegiate meet.
“Regardless of what’s the situation back home, he (Pumaren) had the morale obligation to stay with the team. I don’t agree with what he did and I think it’s a ground for the organization to re-evaluate his commitment to the team,” said SBP executive director Noli Eala.
“I don’t want to second guess him but I’m sure he knew the commitment, he knew the schedule. It’s his moral obligation to be with the team until the end of the battle,” Eala added
Eala remembered his own experience in Tokushima, Japan during the 2007 FIBA Asia men’s championship where he stayed on despite a personal problem that cropped up in Manila. In Iran, he said he came over only briefly since it’s clear from the beginning that he’s not part of the team and he had an SBP conference to attend to.
Coach Pumaren's actions didn't sit well with basketball fans too. In the Phistar comments section, many were angered by the coach's move. One said he shouldn't have accepted the job in the first place since he has the right to refuse (the college season conflicts with the international basketball calendar. Despite the case, no one bothered to adjust the schedule of the local college basketball competition).Other posters want to sanction and fire Franz for lack of commitment. In fairness, Coach Pumaren went back to the country supposedly for one of his assistant coaches' father fell ill - that reasoning didn't fare well too. One poster cited his case don't even compare to the Team USA volleyball coach whose family was stabbed to death in China in the Olympics but still led his men to the gold medal.
The SBP Executive Director lamented the fact other talented young cagers weren't able to represent the country as their school allegedly stopped them:
Eala said the RP boys could have performed a lot better if Arvie Bringas, Nico Salva and Kyle Pascual were allowed to join the team.
Too many people paying lip service about wanting the country to regain international prominence in basketball but couldn't walk the talk so to speak. These schools love to criticize our country's politicians as putting themselves first before the country, look who's talking about nationalism now!
For this reason, the SBP wants a foreign coach (and a full-time one) to helm the country that way it could avert ridiculous controversies such as this.
I always believed in hiring a foreign coach. Don't get me wrong it doesn't mean I look down on local coaches. It's just that PBA or local coaches don't have much experience in international competitions. Besides, we need the know-how that only a coach with a proven international record (like Toroman, led Iran to the Olympics) have. In the end, the transfer of technology will ultimately benefit us. The last time the country qualified to the Olympics was in 1972 and from then on - everything went downhill.