THERE is a distinct difference which Ryan Arana can't help but notice as soon as he reunited with college coach Franz Pumaren at GlobalPort.
The system that won for De La Salle five UAAP men’s basketball championship remains more or less the same even now that Pumaren had taken his act to the PBA, noted Arana.
But this time, he’s already dealing with a more mellow coach, sayin Pumaren is now more patient and relaxed when calling the shots from the bench.
“Yung system ni coach same lang 'yun. Siguro sa ugali na lang, medyo bumait na si coach ngayon unlike nung sa La Salle,” he said with a chuckle.
The 33-year-old Arana is perhaps one of the few players who can talk that way to Pumaren, with whom he won two championships in three UAAP finals appearances together during his playing years with the Green Archers.
It was actually through the initiative of his former college coach that Globalport made the move to pluck Arana out of KIA Picanto, which placed him on the unrestricted free agent list prior to the start of the season-ending Governors Cup.
At the same time, it also reunited him with alternate governor Eric Arejola and the rest of the Globalport family, where he once played during his stint in the defunct Philippine Basketball League (PBL).
“Thankful ako kay coach Franz na kinuha pa rin niya ako dito sa team, na may tiwala pa rin siya sa akin,” said Arana, originally picked by Rain or Shine in the 2007 rookie draft (12th overall).
His arrival at Globalport actually looks more like a La Salle reunion for him and Pumaren. Aside from the two of them, others in the team who once wore the green and white include Mike Cortez, Rico Maierhofer, and new acquisition Arnold Van Opstal.
Arejola also once played for the Green Archers, so did deputies Johnedel Cardel and Oliver Bunyi.
Arana and Maierhofer also played together on a La Salle team mentored by Pumaren.
But despite having known his coach from way back, Arana said the respect he had for him still remains.
“Hindi naman puwede nating i-take advantage yung (ganung style na bumait na siya),” said the tough-playing guard, who finished with three points and two rebounds in 18 minutes of play in his first game for Pumaren after a long while, a 98-96 loss to Rain or Shine in the Batang Pier’s debut game in the season-ending meet.
“Basta tayo professional lang. Laro lang tayo kung ano yung gustong ipagawa ni coach Franz, gawin lang natin.
Just like before, Arana hopes to bring back the winning ways he had with Pumaren now that both of them are with Globalport
“Yung tiwala nila sa akin gusto ko ring suklian,” said Arana, who has already won two championships in his PBA career, one each with Rain or Shine and San Miguel.