PBA great Jerry Codinera expects anyone among PBA giants Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar or June Mar Fajardo to break his long-standing record for most number of blocks in a game.
“Sana ma-break nila, especially they have all the height, like sila Japeth, Greg and June Mar. They should break that because they have all the God-given talent, they have the height,” Codinera said during Friday’s Online Media Group forum at the Country Spice in Sgt. Esguerra, Quezon City.
Codinera, who turned 48 on Friday, holds the 25-year-old record for most number of blocks per game at 11, which he set during an elimination-round game against San Miguel Beer in the 1989 Third Conference.
The 6-5 Codinera, who had his No. 44 jersey retired by Purefoods just last Sunday in a brief ceremony, is No. 4 in the all-time PBA shot blocks list in league history with 1,221 blocks, behind Ramon Fernandez (1853), Philip Cezar (1370) and Benjie Paras (1333).
The 6-foot-10 Fajardo currently leads the PBA Philippine Cup with 2.7 blocks per outing, including a season-high six rejections on October 26 in San Miguel Beer’s 87-80 win over defending champion Purefoods Star.
Aguilar of Barangay Ginebra is a close second with a 2.1 average while San Miguel forward Arwind Santos is in third with 1.8 swats. Slaughter averages 1.0 block this season.
Codinera, currently the head coach of the Arellano Chiefs in the NCAA, said there’s no secret to blocking shots.
“Blocking naman kasi, it just comes eh. You don’t look for it. But the basic (rule) of defense is you just have to be there,” said Codinera, who spent his first 12 seasons with Purefoods before being traded to Mobiline (now Talk ‘N Text) in 1999. He played for FedEx from 2002-2005 before calling it a career.
“Importante is, you don’t reach in, but just bother the shot. Kung ma-block mo, di okay, just extend your arm and make sure they don’t go past by you. Yun ang basic lang ng depensa,” he added.