UNIVERSITY of the East coach Derrick Pumaren said it was unfortunate that he had to get his first victory of UAAP Season 79 at the expense of younger brother Franz and his Adamson Falcons on Sunday.
Pumaren said it was all business for him and the Red Warriors against the Falcons, stressing the need to get a win before the end of the first round of the eliminations.
“I feel bad for Franz kasi we need to get the win against him. But it’s nothing personal. We need the win,” said the elder Pumaren, who has won championships in the UAAP and PBA.
“We were down there, we are in a deep hole. We have to crawl out of it. It doesn’t matter if I were playing Franz or another team. We just have to win this ball game,” said Derrick.
It was the first time Derrick and Franz faced off as head coaches in the UAAP, although the older Pumaren said the two squared off during the early 1990s in the Philippine Amateur Basketball League (PABL) when Derrick was with Triple V and Franz coached Magnolia while still active as a player in the PBA.
Curiously, the close-knit Pumaren family was present during the match but Pilo Pumaren, the patriarch, and his wife seated at the back of the UE bench, with Franz’s family present behind the Adamson bench.
Another Pumaren, former Purefoods star guard Dindo, serves as an assistant to Derrick.
Franz, who has won five UAAP championships for La Salle, admitted he was tight during the match, not because of his match-up with his brother but with the capability of UE to pull off a win.
“This is the first time I felt this. It’s just that they are performing well. Nothing against UE, but if you are 0-6, the only way to go is up,” said Franz.
Later, the brothers insisted thet have nothing but respect for each other.
Derrick said he is impressed with how Franz has turned things around for the Falcons.
“They have some good recruits. I’m not sure if the guys they have are their recruits or kay coach Kenneth (Duremdes) pa. But they’ve got some good players and good pieces," he said.
"Franz is a good coach. We know what he can do when it comes to college ball and the respect that he gets from the players. That is why he was able to turn around the team.”
Franz believes that even with UE’s struggles, the Red Warriors can do better in the second round with Derrick calling the shots on the sidelines.
“I think they are a very disciplined and aggressive team. That’s his team for a number of years now. I think they will do better this second round after this win,” Franz said.