CEU has found its new cornerstone down low.
The Scorpions quickly embarked on a new era as they paraded Senegalese big man Maodo Malick Diouf to open their 2019 PBA D-League campaign on Tuesday.
And the 6-foot-11 slotman didn't fail his coaches and made immediate impact.
Diouf posted a monster statline of 15 points, 17 rebounds, three assists, and two blocks in CEU's 93-76 win over Diliman College-Gerry's Grill.
Those numbers just brings smile to coach Derrick Pumaren's face.
"I think he has really improved tremendously," the veteran mentor remarked as he gushed on how the 19-year-old has grown in the Scorpions' camp.
"He's been with us for less than a year. He only came to us in July, so wala pa siyang one year sa akin. He has not tasted how to lift weights nung dumating sa amin, but he's improved a lot."
Green as Diouf is right now, Pumaren believes that he can turn him to a franchise player for CEU, much like how Rod Ebondo was for the past half-decade in the boys in pink-and-gray.
"What I like about him is he's very coachable. He's still raw pero makikita mo na yung potential niya," he said.
As much as Ebondo was the top guy for CEU in the past, Pumaren isn't willing to compare Diouf to him just yet.
"Ebondo is a different kind of player. He's a scorer, more of a wing guy," he observed. "Malick is still not there, but he can be a force to be reckoned with inside once he really matures and develop to be a good basketball player."