Whether there will still be any drastic changes in the Green Archers’ preseason roster before the UAAP opens on July 10, what is certain is that this team is still a work in progress. For new head coach Dindo Pumaren, handling a rebuilding team is no stranger for him as he was also in a similar situation when he started his coaching career.
When Pumaren was appointed head coach of the UE Red Warriors back in 2004, he inherited a team that was completely drained of talent. With the departure of Paul Artadi, Olan Omiping, Arnold Booker, Jay-ar Estrata, Philip Butel, Jayson Alminario and some guy named James Yap, the Warriors not only lost its entire starting unit but also most of their utility guys off the bench.
Coach Dindo had 10 rookies in his first year with UE. Though veterans KG Canaleta, Paulo Hubalde and RJ Masbang are still with the team, the Warriors weren’t expected to go anywhere that season after a major line-up overhaul.
Surprisingly, the once lowly-regarded Warriors did quite well that year. They were 4-3 after the first round and ended the season at fourth place with an 8-6 record. Just when everyone thought they would languish at the bottom of the heap, the Red Warriors overachieved.
This year, Coach Dindo is again tasked to handle a team composed of a few veterans and a swarm of rookies and sophomores. Can he also help this team exceed expectations in his first year as head coach?