PBA great Jerry Codinera has been named the new head coach of the Arellano Chiefs, giving him the chance to take care of unfinished business after a short-lived coaching stint with alma mater University of the East.
Codinera, 47, takes over from Koy Banal as he tries to turn the Chiefs into title contenders in the NCAA - a task he never got to achieve at UE after he was unceremoniously replaced by Boycie Zamar in 2012.
“Yun nga eh. Sana ito na yung continuity nung nangyari sa akin sa UE," said the former Purefoods star. "Hindi ko ma-describe nangyari sa akin dun eh. Pero the pressure was tremendous.”
They Said It!
Nung dumating nga ako kanina sa gym, andami agad nagtakbuhan sa akin na mga players." - Arellano Chiefs' recently named head coach Jerry Codinera
Describing his ill-fated stint at UE, Codinera said: “They (UE management) wanted to compare the team to other UAAP teams. So na-pressure talaga ako nun."
That the Red Warriors failed to reach the Final Four in Zamar's first full season at the helm is validation the team was still a couple of players short of being a title contender, Codinera added.
"And the way I look at it on hindsight… hindi rin naman nila nakuha. So meaning, talagang kulang pa (sila),” he said. “Pero hindi ko na babalikan pa yun. Nasabi ko lang.”
Codinera now sees his assumption to the Arellano top job as a fresh start to his coaching career, but cautions that he doesn't expect a turnaround to happen overnight.
The PBA great said he is looking to recruit more players as he looks to beef up a team led by Nard Pinto, Prince Caperal, Nichole Bangga and Fil-Am Zach Nichols that finished joint sixth with Lyceum in the NCAA last season.
“I hope the recruitment stage will fill the void. Mapunan kung ano ang kulang and hopefully in my first two years … we can have the recruits and the team will perform,” he said.
Aside from the knowledge he can impart, Codinera hopes the legacy he created as a many-time member of the Philippine team, a two-time UAAP champion with UE, and a pro career spanning 17 years will help inspire his players to reach for new heights.
“Nung dumating nga ako kanina sa gym, andami agad nagtakbuhan sa akin na mga players. Yung iba kasi dun nakakalaro ko din sa legends game. Kaya sana maging maganda this time ang pag-upo natin,” said Codinera.