COACH Derrick Pumaren made a winning debut as EcoOil-La Salle topped Wang’s-Letran, 102-90, in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

The Green Archers were in the zone right from the get-go, racing to a 17-6 lead behind the heroics of Justine Baltazar and fending off a late Knights’ uprising to chalk up their first win of the season.

Marinerong Pilipino completed a day of opening day routs with a dismantling of Centro Escolar University.

Pumaren, who returned for his alma mater that he guided to UAAP men’s basketball titles in 1989 and 1990, was satisfied with the way EcoOil-La Salle performed against the reigning NCAA champions.

“I think we started well. We jumped on them early and we were able to take control of the ballgame,” said Pumaren.

“One thing good and positive that happened today is when everytime that they will get back in the ballgame, we were able to play defense. That’s what’s I have been preaching,” he added.

Brothers Juan and Javi Gomez de Liaño  combined for 28 points in the first half as the Skippers raced to a 52-20 advantage.

Encho Serrano scored 11 of his 19 points in the second period to go with eight rebounds and three assists, while Baltazar had an solid all-around game of 16 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two blocks for the Archers.

Pumaren, who since he took over last January has been practicing for seven weeks, knows that his team is still a work in progress.

“I think we are still far from the form that I want. We’ve been making mistakes defensively and we’ve been fouling a lot,” said Pumaren. “It is still long way to go for us.”

The scores:

First Game

EcoOil-DLSU (102) — Serrano 19, Baltazar 16, Melecio 15, David 12, Ndiaye 12, Manuel 9, Hill 6, Bartlett 6, Vales 5, Cu 2, Bates 0.

Wang’s-Letran (90) — Yu 24, Rocacurva 15, Ular 13, Mina 12, Reyson 9, Javillonar 8, Ambohot 4, Brutas 3, Guarino 2, Pambid 0, Ariar 0, Monje 0, Bañez 0.

Quarterscores: 24-15, 55-40, 75-63, 102-90

Second Game

Marinerong Pilipino (93) — Ju. Gomez De Liaño 21, Ja. Gomez De Liaño 18, Rios 15, Reverente 13, Manday 8, Senining 6, Batino 4, Fuentes 2, Santos 2, Mangahas 2, Serrano 2, Solis 0. 

Karate Kid-CEU (57) — Pingoy 13, Apacible 10, Guinitaran 8, Bernabe 7, Arana 4, Intic 4, Diaz 3, Murrell 2, Taladua 2, Sunga 2, Carandang 2, Santos 0, Abastillas 0, Tagal 0, Espiritu 0.

Quarterscores: 20-7, 52-20, 71-37, 93-57