Derrick Pumaren is the least surprised to see how Fran Yu has morphed into one of the best in the collegiate scene today.
Pumaren had previously coached Yu in University of the East back in 2016, but that relationship ended when the 5-foot-10 guard took his talents to Traill International School in Thailand.
Now, Yu has emerged as a star following an impressive performance with Colegio de San Juan de Letran in last year’s NCAA Season 95. There, he helped steer the Knights to the championship.
“I’m really happy with his development. Now, it shows why I tried to recruit him that time,” said Pumaren of the former Batang Gilas stalwart, whom he recruited from Chiang Kai Shek College.
Pumaren and Yu had some sort of a reunion Monday when the EcoOil-backed La Salle went head-to-head against Wang’s-Letran in the opening salvo of the 2020 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.
There, Yu balled out, producing 24 points, five assists, four rebounds, and two steals in nearly 27 minutes.
“He’s playing with confidence. He has matured now,” Pumaren lauded.
“I’m happy that he’s playing well.”
Yu definitely made it tough for the Green Archers, with the Knights trimming a 19-point deficit to just six with less than six minutes left. Still, Pumaren’s side pulled through and triumphed, 102-90.
Regardless of the result, however, Yu is just glad to meet his former mentor, to whom he remains grateful.
“Thankful ako kasi siya ang nag-recruit sa akin nung high school. Naniwala siya na kaya kong maglaro sa college level.”