TIM Cone and his version of the triangle offense have become models of success that other teams are starting to emulate.
And as the PBA’s most successful coach stand on the cusp of steering San Mig Coffee to a grand slam, one mentor has embraced the same proven offensive system in the hope of bringing even just relative achievement to his team in the collegiate ranks.
Jerry Codiñera continues his coaching journey with Arellano when the Chiefs take on Emilio Aguinaldo College on Monday in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament - yes, you guessed it, with the triangle offense at the core of the team's game.
Ironically, Codiñera has never played for Cone in a Hall of Fame-bound career, but the former Purefoods star said he was fascinated enough with how Cone runs the offense in the hope of having more success with the Chiefs than he had with alma mater University of the East three years ago.
“I’m fascinated by how he runs it,” Codiñera said of Cone and his triangle.
That’s why he is instilling the team-oriented system to the Chiefs, albeit using it with what he terms as some “flexibility” considering the team’s abundance of players, bannered by prolific playmaker Nard Pinto, who thrive on individualistic plays.
“I just put some parameters dun sa system,” Codiñera said. “Syempre nag-a-adjust ako kay Pinto. Parang si James Yap namin yun eh.”
So far, it's been working well for the Chiefs, who repulsed Lyceum, 93-80, last week.
But the Chiefs face a stern test in the Generals, who barely missed the Final Four last year and started their campaign on a bright note this year following an 81-72 victory over College of St. Benilde.
The winner of the 2 p.m. matchup gains a share of the lead with San Beda and University of Perpetual Help.
“They’re a team also to be reckoned with,” said Codiñera, whose team lost to EAC in a preseason match.
And the Generals, led by Cedric Happi, Jan Jamon, John Tayongtong, and rookies Ariel Aguilar and Justin Serrano, hope to replicate their offseason victory against the Chiefs.
“Expect us to double the intensity we showed against CSB,” Generals coach Gerry Esplana said.
Particularly, Happi, the Cameroonian slotman, will test the mettle of the Chiefs’ promising American big man Doincee Holts, who registered 11 points and 12 boards in just 17 minutes in his debut.
Jose Rizal University and St. Benilde face off in the second game at 4 p.m. hoping to register in the win column.