Pumarens' basketball legacy continues
Brothers Derrick, Franz and Dindo Pumaren
File photos
Pumarens' basketball legacy continues
Roy Luarca (Philstar.com) - August 10, 2020 - 1:04pm

MANILA, Philippines – They're small, of medium build, hardly the athletic type.

But what they lack physically, the Pumarens compensated with skill, guile and all-out effort.

No wonder, Derrick, Franz and Dindo, from oldest to youngest, made their family name nationally known in basketball.

They excelled as players and fared even better as coaches.

Derrick, about 5-foot-8, suited up for the UAAP 1978 champion University of the East Red Warriors under the Pumaren patriarch — Filomeno.

Franz and Dindo, both listed as 5-foot-9, saw action together under Derrick for the De La Salle University in 1986, when the Green Archers bolted out of the NCAA and transferred to the UAAP.

They became national players and turned pros, with Dindo having a more notable career.

Dubbed "The Bullet," for his speed, Dindo led the PBA in assists for nine seasons and wound up No. 3 in the all-time list. In addition, Dindo ended up No. 5 in steals.

Taking over the UE mentorship in 2007, Dindo piloted the Red Warriors to a 14-0 sweep of the eliminations only to be shot down by the Franz-mentored Green Archers, 2-0, in the Finals. Dindo also coached La Salle in 2010 but resigned the next year after the Green Archers missed the Final Four.

Derrick, who didn't turn pro, would steer La Salle to back-to-back titles in 1989 and 1990 before moving over to the PBA where he coached six teams, including RFM, which he guided to twin titles in 1995.

He also coached UE and Centro Escolar University, which he took to the top of the National Capital Region Athletic Association last year.

When the UAAP reopens next year, Derrick will be back at the helm for the Green Archers longing to return to the Final Four and eventually regain varsity supremacy.

With Franz calling the shots, La Salle reigned from 1998 to 2001 and reclaimed the throne in 2007. La Salle's last title came in 2016 under Aldin Ayo.

Franz is now head coach of the Adamson Falcons.

Though he admits Adamson finds it hard to compete in players' recruitment, Franz believes team effort and their feared press will enable the Falcons to soar again.

Over at La Salle, Derrick is out to prove the innovative structured patterns he applied over 30 years ago can still be effective with a little tinkering.

Just like their hustle when playing, the Pumarens way of coaching is enduring.

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