JERRY Codiñera was fortunate enough to have Virgilio ‘Baby’ Dalupan by his side during his college and professional basketball career.
Many know the time Codiñera played for Dalupan at Purefoods during the late 1980s and early 1990s, winning two championships in the PBA during that time.
But unknown to some, Codiñera also won championships with University of the East in 1984 and 1985 in college with Dalupan as the athletic director of the school which his family used to own. Decades before that, Dalupan coached the Red Warriors to seven straight UAAP men’s basketball titles from 1965 to 1971.
Although he wasn’t coached by Dalupan in college, Codiñera recalled ‘The Maestro’ as a generous person to UE players, even to the extent of going out of his way to give the Red Warriors shoes, most of which were previously owned by imports of Crispa.
“Hindi ko siya naging mentor sa college pero at least, he provided me with the equipment. ‘Yung mga galing sa import, kila James Hardy, Al Green,” Codiñera fondly recalled.
Codiñera would finally get a chance to be mentored by Dalupan in the pros when ‘The Maestro’ took over Purefoods in 1989. One year later, the Hotdogs captured the 1990 Third Conference and the 1991 All-Filipino crown.
Codiñera also hailed Dalupan for helping him in his basketball career, lauding his famous system that made basketball easy for players like him.
“He is a strategist by nature. He is a smart coach by making things simple. Very readable, madaling intindihin ‘yung sistema niya,” said Codiñera.