ONCE filled with doubt, Jerry Codinera finally found a way to get back at his old tormentors.
Having lost to this San Beda core for seven straight times, the Racal head coach breathed a sigh of relief as Racal bested the Red Lions-backed Cignal squad, 100-90, on Monday in Game Two of the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup Finals.
The win couldn't have come at a better time as they evened the series and forged a do-or-die matchup on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena.
"Na-validate yung thoughts ko na siyempre ang San Beda natatalo din. Nakakatuwa lang din. Siyempre pag natatalo mahirap e, marami kang doubt sa sarili, yung ginagawa mo, yung planning mo, yung pag strategize mo," said Codinera.
"It gives you very positive sa self-esteem tumataas, yung sa akin tumataas, so ayun ang nabibigay more on psychological," he added.
Kent Salado, one of Codinera's star guards even back with the Arellano University Chiefs, was also as ecstatic as his head coach, having suffered the same fate in the past against the Red Lions.
But Salado insisted that it's nothing personal, and the win was a result of the Tile Masters’ collective effort.
"Sobrang sarap kasi natalo na din namin ang San Beda. Ang hirap nila talunin, malakas talaga, magaling din si coach Boyet," said Salado who overcame an ankle injury back in Game One to finish with 15 points in limited minutes.
"Talagang nagtulung-tulungan lang kami. Lalo na sa depensa namin ngayon," he added.
For Codinera, the key was not putting any pressure on his players and letting them play loose against the stacked Hawkeyes.
It worked wonders for them as they led from start to finish and set the stage for what could be a banger come Game Three.
"Enjoy lang, whatever happens and we just have to give our best. Wala naman special na ano (game plan) alam naman nila kung ano at stake, alam naman nila kung gaano kalakas yung kalaban," said the Racal coach.