FORMER PBA cager Expedito ‘Noynoy’ Falcasantos admitted being a little bit anxious about his new role as an assistant coach at University of the East, but at the same time excited to learn new things from former mentor Derrick Pumaren.
“Excited (pero) medyo nerbiyos din ng konti,” said the 43-year-old Falcasantos. “Iba na ito eh. Dati player lang, ngayon coach na.”
Falcasantos, who had stints with Sta. Lucia, Talk 'N Text, and Ginebra in an 11-year PBA career, was recently tapped by Pumaren to be one of his deputies shortly after being appointed new head coach of UE.
This will be the first coaching job for Pumaren since shunning away from the basketball limelight in 2004 - and the first at any level for Falcasantos.
Joining Pumaren at UE is a reunion of sort for the coach and Falcasantos, an alumnus of Cebu Central College who played under Derrick for Triple V in the defunct Philippine Basketball League.
After he was drafted by Sta. Lucia in 1994, Falcasantos had the chance of playing for Pumaren again when the veteran coach took on the Realtors job.
Falcasantos said he has been designated by Pumaren to be the big man coach of the Red Warriors as well as the team’s talent scout in the provinces especially in his native Zamboanga.
He will be joined in the UE coaching staff by Derrick’s younger brother Dindo Pumaren, himself a former head coach of the Red Warriors.
But what Falcasantos is looking forward is the chance to learn from his former mentor.
“Kumbaga, teacher siya,” said Falcasantos on being part of Pumaren’s coaching staff. “First time ko. Siguro marami pa akong matututunan sa kanya.”
After his retiement, Falcasantos remained active playing with fellow ex-PBA players in legends games until 2006.
While he put most of his time and attention on his business ventures the past few years, Falcasantos said his passion to learn never wavered as he set his sights on a coaching job.
“Nung nag-retire ako sa basketball, iniisip ko na rin kung puwede kaya ako mag-coach. Kaya nagbasa-basa na rin ako,” said Falcasantos.
The wait is now over.