MANILA – One Pumaren out, another Pumaren in.
Franz Pumaren may have coached his final season in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) in Season 72, but another Pumaren is set to replace him.
“Yes, I’ll be running for Congress next year,” Pumaren told uaapsports.com in a text message, confirming his resignation as De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers’ head coach.
In a report that first came out in DLSU’s fans site Greenarchers.ph, Franz, a third-term Quezon City councilor, will hand over the reins to his brother Dindo after the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL).
Before the beginning of this season, Dindo was tapped as an assistant coach to replace Tyronne Bautista, who was assigned to a head coaching post in the women’s basketball team.
Dindo’s inclusion in the coaching staff after coaching the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors for five seasons fueled speculations that this would be Franz’ last season with the Archers.
“Dindo knows our system so well. The adjustment will be much easier compared to getting a new assistant coach, who will have to learn our system,” said Franz, who, at that time, was already laying down the foundation for the Archers’ future without him.
When the team played their last game for the season, Franz already hinted this inevitable scenario.
“The future is bright for La Salle. We have a good mix of sophomores and veterans next season. I’m still undecided though whether to run for a higher position in the coming elections,” Franz said after the National University (NU) Bulldogs booted his team out of the Final Four.
The Archers wound up sixth in the league, their worst finish under Franz.
Franz will leave the premier collegiate league as one of the best in the history despite this season’s debacle.
He led the Archers to 9 Final Four appearances since taking over the DLSU coaching job in 1998. Out of those semifinal appearances, DLSU was able to win 5 titles, including a rare four-peat during Franz’s first four years as La Salle coach.
His only other Final Four miss, aside from this season, was when La Salle got suspended in 2006.
Dindo, on the other hand, will be back as head coach in the league after guiding UE for five seasons including a bitter loss to Franz in the 2007 Finals.
That year, Dindo’s Warriors posted a 14-0 sweep of the eliminations to earn an outright Finals berth. However, it ended on a sour note as Franz and his Archers swept them in the Finals.
Franz and Dindo both played as point guards for DLSU Green Archers in the ‘80s and became teammates for a year. Franz played for the last NCAA and the first UAAP La Salle team. By Alder T. Almo