Pumaren survives COVID-19 scare
Derrick Pumaren
Philstar.com/File Photo

Pumaren survives COVID-19 scare

Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) - May 5, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — DLSU men’s basketball head coach Derick Pumaren is back home safe and sound after a recent 17-day confinement at the De La Salle University Medical Center in Dasmariñas, Cavite where he was treated for COVID-19. Now that Pumaren is fully recovered, he’s again supervising zoom workouts with the Archers and getting the varsity ready for whenever the next UAAP season starts. It won’t be for another three months before he can be vaccinated but the level of antibodies in his system assures protection from the virus in the meantime.

Pumaren said he initially came out negative in an antigen test last March 27 but developed a fever that night. He then tested positive in an RT-PCR swab and referred by his brother Franz, went to the Quezon City General Hospital for a lung X-Ray despite no difficulty in breathing. Doctors diagnosed pneumonia and suggested hospital care. The Lasallian community arranged confinement in Dasmariñas. Pumaren said he’s grateful to La Salle for coming to his rescue.

“At first, I was brought to ER where I spent a night then moved to a semi-ward before transferred to a private room on the sixth floor,” said Pumaren. “The medical care, treatment and facilities were excellent. I had injections in the stomach and they also took my oxygen count thrice from the big vein in the wrist. I was taped to an IV so I brought it along when I got my food outside the door or went to the rest room. I had 11 doses of Remdesivir, other medication and two X-Rays before I was declared COVID-free. I think I lost 10 pounds. Aside from the regular meals, I always asked for bananas and Skyflakes. It was difficult because I was all alone for over two weeks in the hospital but with God’s grace, I survived.”

Pumaren, 61, can’t be sure when the next UAAP season will begin. Season 83, which La Salle was supposed to host, has been cancelled but the school will remain host for the coming games. Clearance from CHED and DOH, with approval from the IATF, is required before schools can even resume individual limited workouts.

Despite the hiatus, UAAP schools continue to beef up their ranks and La Salle is no exception. Aljun Melecio gave up his final year of varsity eligibility to turn pro with La Salle’s consent but Justine Baltazar leads a cast of holdovers including Kurt Lojera, Joaqui Manuel, Josh David, Brandon Bates, Francis Escandor, Ralph Cu, Donn Lim and Jordan Bartlett. Lined up to make their La Salle debut are Evan Nelle, Mark Nonoy, Deo Cuajao, Rayven Cortez, Ice Blanco, C. J. Austria, Emman Galman, Paul Turco, Aaron Buensalida, Kameron Vales, Charles Burgos, Michael and Benjamin Phillips, Deschon Winston and either Bright Nwankwo of Nigeria or Amadou N’Diaye of Senegal.

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