UNIVERSITY of the East star Alvin Pasaol and Derrick Pumaren crossed paths anew on Monday.
This time, though, they stood on opposite sides of the basketball court as Pasaol's Marinerong Pilipino went up against Centro Escolar University in the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup.
Pumaren, the former UE head coach, is now the Scorpions' general manager for basketball operations.
The high-scoring cager admitted he missed playing for his ‘daddy,’ who got the pink slip from the UE management in November last year.
"Before the game, nag-usap kami, kumustahan, okay ba siya, meron pa ba siyang injury. Sabi niya, 'Okay naman ako,'” Pasaol shared about the conversation with his former coach.
“Siyempre, si daddy ko yun e. Na-miss ko 'yung daddy ko," he added with a laugh at the end of CEU's 104-93 win at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
But now he's suiting up for Marinerong Pilipino coach Koy Banal, whose system he has yet to fully grasp three games into the opening conference.
In Monday's match, the 22-year-old cager logged in only three minutes and 19 seconds and hardly made an impact with two points and the same number of rebounds.
"Sabi nga ni manong sakin, ‘Ano? Ang init ng pwet mo no?’ Pero nagbibiro lang din," he said.
"Siguro, marami pa akong kailangan matutunan sa sistema ni coach Koy. Yun yung problema e kaya siguro di ako masyado nakakapasok, yung playing time ko.”
Picked in the second round of the 2017 D-League draft, Pasaol vowed to work exta hard to eventually ease into Banal's rotation.
"Kailangan talaga maging patient ka. Di mo rin makukuha sa pangalan mo, sa anong nagawa mo," he said.
"Kailangan talaga, hard work mo e. Kailangan kong ipakita kay coach Koy na well-deserving ako."