By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
A FAMILIAR face returns at the coaching helm of the De La Salle University men’s basketball team as champion coach Derrick Pumaren has been named head coach.
The return of Mr. Pumaren, who steered the Green Archers to back-to-back titles in the late ‘80s, was made official on Tuesday by way of a statement from the school.
“The University welcomes back Coach Derrick to the Lasallian community as he maps out the new direction of the Green Archers,” the school statement read.
Mr. Pumaren assumes the head-coaching duties from coach Gian Nazario and consultant Jermaine Byrd immediately, the school said.
Under Mr. Pumaren the Archers hope to get back to the top echelon of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines after missing the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.
Messrs. Nazario and Byrd, however, were retained in the coaching staff, to be joined by Gabby Velasco and Mon Jose.
Mr. Pumaren’s return marks a reunion between the school and the Pumarens, with younger brothers Franz and Dindo also holding the Green Archers coaching position at different points in the past.
In 1989 and 1990, with teams bannered by the likes of Jun Limpot, Dindo and Joey Sta. Maria, Mr. Pumaren steered the Taft-based school to UAAP titles, starting what was going to be a solid showing by La Salle in the league in the next two decades.
Prior to returning to La Salle, Mr. Pumaren held the coaching posts in the University of the East in the UAAP and Centro Escolar University in both the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) and in the Philippine Basketball Association Development League.