Arellano Chiefs shouldn't be content just being in the finals, says coach Codinera
Arellano coach Jerry Codinera is demanding more from his Chiefs. Jerome Ascano

THE team that is just happy to be in the Finals should now have the sense of urgency to win it all.

That’s what Arellano coach Jerry Codiñera expects from his Chiefs after losing to San Beda, 74-66, in Game One of their best-of-three NCAA men’s basketball title series on Monday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Chiefs, in their maiden Finals stint since joining the league in 2009, dug themselves into a hole early and had to make a comeback that fell short against a veteran champion team in the Red Lions.

“That’s what I’m telling them,” Codiñera said. “Kailangan tapusin na yung mindset na nakapasok na kami ng Finals. For us to beat San Beda, we have to change our mindset.”

“There are others who were still celebrating (the feat of making the finals) at kaya nabugbog kami nung una,” he added.

As a result, the Chiefs missed 13 of their 25 free throws for a sub-par 48 percent from the charity stripe. Keith Agovida typified the Chiefs’ woes, making just 4 of his 13 charities.

But Codiñera admitted the missed free throws affected them in a huge way, but he kept his trust in Agovida in the endgame when the veteran forward missed four charities in the last five minutes.

“Hindi ko talaga ilalabas yun hanggang matapos yung laro,” he said. “Finals na 'yan. All-out na eh.”

“But it’s (free-throw woes) a big factor,” he added. “Yung five to nine free throw misses sa fourth quarter, masakit yun.”

Still, Codiñera stuck to the positives, glad that the first one’s out of the way.

“At least na-feel na nila yung jitters ng Finals,” the soft-spoken mentor said. “Dapat it should pass na rin. Kailangan lumipas na.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos