UAAP:  LIFE  GOES  ON  FOR  SUSPENDED  ARCHERS

MANILA, MAY 1, 2006 (STAR) By Joey Villar - Despite the UAAP suspension and the absence of a head coach, De La Salle will continue to maintain its menís basketball team.

Bro. Bobby Casingal, head of the schoolís Office of Sports Development, said the Archers are continuously training despite the recent ban the UAAP board slapped on the Taft-based school.

Casingal said the team is being handled by a coaching staff headed by Tyrone Bautista and Jack Santiago, who were Franz Pumarenís assistants during the latterís term.

Pumaren resigned last year to allow the school to effect changes on its basketball program, tarnished by the controversy involving two players ó Mark Benitez and Tim Gatchalian ó who suited for the team during the 2004-2005 seasons with spurious admission documents.

Pumaren was a member of La Salleís first UAAP cage team two decades ago, where he played alongside the likes of Dicky Bachman and Joey Sta. Maria and under brother coach Derrick.

"The team has been practicing without a head coach, just the coaching staff," said Casingal during Thursdayís press conference at the Taft campusí North Conservatory where La Salle questioned the UAAP verdict.

Casingal, however, refused to comment if La Salle would re-sign Pumaren or tap a new coach who will be tasked to rebuild a team hobbled by problems involving exodus of players and recruitment.

"Admittedly, without a head coach, itís difficult to come up with a long-term plan," Casingal said.

Some players who were supposed to play for La Salle changed their minds and tried out for other schools, the bulk of which went to University of the Philippines.

The Maroons, who are seeking to duplicate their one and only title they won exactly two decades back, in fact, picked up former La Salle-Zobel standouts Martin Reyes, Dan Salvador and Miguel de Asis, and recently, Xavier MVP Woody Co.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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