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Despite heartbreaker, Derrick Pumaren happy to see Diouf find home in UP


Derrick Pumaren and De La Salle University figured in a first round heartbreaker on Thursday.

In a classic game against University of the Philippines, the Green Archers were on the wrong end of a decision, 61-59, in a battle for early second.

Pumaren could not help but lament the decision-making of the Green Archers. After all, his side held a seven-point lead with 7:44 remaining in the contest.

UAAP-84-MBB-DLSU-vs.-UP-Derrick-Pumaren-5381 Despite heartbreaker, Derrick Pumaren happy to see Diouf find home in UP Basketball DLSU News UAAP  - philippine sports news

“Well I think, we played not to lose when we got that seven-point lead.

“We became tentative, just started to protect the lead. UP made a run and we didn’t do a good job blocking out the rebounds,” rued Pumaren as La Salle saw itself out-rebounded, 56-43, with 24 rebounds coming from the offensive end.

Zavier Lucero accounted for nine offensive rebounds, while Carl Tamayo got five. James Spencer and CJ Cansino also had crucial boards late that sparked UP’s endgame flurry.

Despite the heartbreaker they figured in, Pumaren still had a reason to smile.

On the opposing end was Malick Diouf — his former ward in Centro Escolar University.

Pumaren has a reputation for building relationships with his players that last a lifetime. Definitely, the 22-year-old Senegalese student-athlete was one of them.

Against La Salle though, the 6-foot-11 big man was limited to just seven points on 2-of-12 shooting from the field and seven rebounds. This was down from his 9.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game averages prior to this game.

Perhaps Diouf became gun-shy as he faced his second father for the first time.

2019-pba-dleague-finals-game-3-cignal-admu-def-ceu-angelo-kouame-vs-malick-diouf Despite heartbreaker, Derrick Pumaren happy to see Diouf find home in UP Basketball DLSU News UAAP  - philippine sports news

“I’m happy where he is right now at maayos naman ang nilalaro niya. I hope he continues to improve and there’s a long way for him. Upside is very high for him,” said Pumaren, who along with Diouf steered to the 2019 PBA D-League Finals.

“He didn’t really play well offensively today. Maybe, he got conscious that I was there. But he is a presence there. He’ll rebound and do the little things.”

After the game, the two shared a tight hug before Pumaren went about his business.

#ReadMore  Baldwin accepts responsibility for 'humbling' loss to UP

And in the locker room, Pumaren made sure to stress one point to the Green Archers.

“We cannot sulk on this loss. We just have to learn from the mistakes that we made and learn how to close out games.”

All UAAP games stream live on GigaPlay presented by Yamaha. Download it now on Android or IOS.SMART-x-Yamaha Despite heartbreaker, Derrick Pumaren happy to see Diouf find home in UP Basketball DLSU News UAAP  - philippine sports news

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.


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