SPORTS great Filomeno ‘Boy’ Codinera was overcome with emotions when initially informed he’ll be the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA).
“Naiyak nga eh,” revealed cage legend Jerry Codinera, son of the softball and baseball hero everybody in the local sports community fondly calls ‘Mang Boy.’
“Yun na lang ‘yung last award na matatanggap niya. Sobrang saya niya. Kumbaga kumpleto na.”
On Saturday night, the elder Codinera finally got what he wished for when he was honored by the sportswriting community with the once in a prestigious award for his great accomplishments both as baseball/softball player and coach at the One Esplanade in Pasay City.
Fellow awardees led by Athletes of the Year Nonito Donaire Jr., Donnie Nietes, and Miguel Tabuena and members of the media, who had become friends of the elder Codinera through the years, gave the honoree a standing ovation as he received the award on stage.
Codinera, who turns 77 next month, was already in wheelchair after suffering a stroke recently, was wheeled in front by sons Jerry and Pat Codinera, both former PBA players, to personally receive the award. Although unable to speak, ‘Mang Boy’ was reduced to tears in a moment that definitely warmed the hearts of those inside the venue.
“I was shaken sa standing ovation ng mga tao,” said Jerry, who grappled for words as he spoke in behalf of his father, a former police officer. “Hindi na ako nakapagsalita. Kala ko simpleng award lang kaya nagulat ako.”
Codinera was a stunning figure on the field during his playing days behind his towering height and wide body.
And he did compliment his physical appearance with his superb plays that once landed him on the Guinness Book of World Records after hitting seven consecutive doubles during the 1968 World Softball Championship in Oklahoma.
Two years earlier, Codiñera also spearheaded the Philippine baseball team to the 1966 World Amateur Baseball Championship in Hawaii, and later also saw action for the Philippine Blu Boys softball team that won the Asian Championship in 1967, 1973, and 1977.
For a while, Jerry also took both sports where his father became known for, but eventually found his calling in basketball, where he made a big name for himself.
Now the head coach of the Arellano Chiefs, Jerry though credited his father as the person instrumental for him to have a great career in basketball.
“He was the one who molded us to excel in sports. He passed it on to us to excel in any sports that you enter into. Failure is not an option sa kanya kaya siguro we reached this far,” he said.