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Returning DLSU Green Archers head coach Derrick Pumaren knows that he has a tough task ahead. After delivering a couple of titles to the Taft-based squad, the veteran mentor is wasting no time trying to assemble a formidable cast for the coming UAAP wars.
Gone are Andre Caracut as well as the Green Archers three one-and-done players in Jaime Malonzo, Keys Meeker and James Laput. Confirmed to be also out is Joel Cagulangan, the Most Valuable Player of NCAA Season 94.
Cagulangan hardly saw any action last UAAP season. It appears this was part of the frustration of the former La Salle Greenhills standout although Pumaren bared he tried to reach out.
“I tried talking to him. Sabi ko lang, hear me out first. If you talk about last year, I cannot do anything about it. What I can only answer is for the next years. Pero it seems that they already decided na. I also wanted to talk to the father so they can hear me out at kung ano ang plano ko. Hindi na nila ako binalikan,” Pumaren said.
Pumaren revealed that with Melecio set to graduate, he was willing to give Cagulangan some playing time this UAAP season. He also explained to the 5-foot-9 guard the scenario he would be facing before formally suiting up for the Fighting Maroons.
“Well, I think magagamit ko siya. You know, patience is a virtue. I was explaining to him that if he transfers to UP, mangyayari don mag one-year residency siya. With La Salle, maybe I can give him some playing time in preparation for the departure of Aljun (Melecio). Ang akin dun, yung one year na i-sit out niya sa UP ay you will be able to play here. And when he assumes the role of Aljun, he has three more years. With UP, still the same (three more years) but he has to sit out muna. That’s how I explained it,” he said.
All that is now water under the bridge and all parties are moving on. Pumaren has already started scouting for future players, admitting that the players he inherited are thin.
“Right now we are scouting. Wala kasing kapalit e. There is no one in the wings waiting,” he said
So far, the only new name to join the Green Archers roster is Evan Nelle. Pumaren also invited Jollo Go and Mark Dyke back but only the former has shown up in practices.
“I invited him (Dyke). So Far he has not shown up. Jollo Go has been showing up,” he said.