The coaching carousel goes on for the De La Salle Green Archers, with the school selecting a former champion mentor in their bid to reclaim UAAP glory once again.
Veteran shotcaller Derick Pumaren was confirmed as the newest head coach of La Salle in a statement by the school released on Tuesday.
"De La Salle University is pleased to announce that Frederick 'Derick' Pumaren is the new head coach of the Men's Basketball Team effective January 1, 2020," the statement read. The school also announced that Gian Nazario and Jermaine Byrd, who led the coaching braintrust last season, will remain part of the coaching staff.
This is Pumaren's second stint with the Archers, after famously leading the school to their maiden UAAP championship in 1989 and defending the title the following season. He also coached six teams in the PBA, winning two titles with the RFM franchise in 1995.
Manong Derick, as he is fondly called, will adopt a La Salle team that finished a disappointing 7-7 in Season 82. The Green Archers missed out on a Final Four berth in the past two seasons, and will be hope that Pumaren can steer them past the elimination round.
Pumaren last patrolled the sidelines in the UAAP as head coach of the UE Red Warriors in 2017, before moving on to lead the Centro Escolar University (CEU) Scorpions. CEU flourished under Pumaren, with the Manila-based squad making a surprise appearance at the PBA D-League Finals and finishing the NCRAA men's basketball tournament with a perfect 11-0 slate.
Pumaren will be the third coach in just as many years for La Salle, who last made it to the Finals in 2017 under now UST head coach Aldin Ayo.