JERRY Codinera says he is happy to step aside and give a good friend a chance to revive the struggling University of the East in the UAAP.
Codinera, one of the PBA's 25 Greatest Players, was replaced as Warriors coach by Boycie Zamar on Thursday but remained part of the school's athletic program in a consultancy role.
“I’m happy that si Boycie ang napili,” Codinera told Spin.ph. “Para kaming magkapatid niyan, matagal na kaming magkasama, it just so happened that it was him.”
In fact, Codinera said that he was even offered by Zamar -- a former classmate and teammate in the last UE team to win a UAAP title in 1985 -- to sit on the Warriors bench for the rest of the season but he politely declined.
“Boycie was one of the people who encouraged me to coach UE after Lawrence Chongson. I was doing something before kaya I was apprehensive to coach UE. I didn’t apply for the job but I was considered. I knew I had big shoes to fill because UE is rebuilding,” said Codinera.
From the onset, Codinera had the unenviable job of rebuilding the Warriors into a playoff force after the departure of top stars Paul Lee and Ken Acibar.
With little pieces to work on, Codinera said he still had lofty expectations for himself.
“Sabi ko sa sarili ko, if I survive the first two years I’ll be okay. Kung malakas talaga kami, wala ako dito but I guess I was here to make a difference. Kung walang nangyari, I’ll move on. Hindi naman ako ‘yung tipo na uupo for the longest time,” Codinera said.
Codinera said that he has no ill feelings towards UE management.
“Sa edad kong ito na para manghinayang pa at maasar sa nangyari, hindi ako ‘yun. In fact, I’m blessed to have been given that kind of opportunity,” said the 45-year-old former Purefoods star.
Codinera said he is looking forward to move on to other endeavors while joining the PBA Legends in a series of provincial tours.