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08-22-2006, 08:01 AM
Codiņera rises up to coaching challenge
By Emmanuel B. Villaruel
The Freeman 08/22/2006

As a basketball player, former pro star Jerry Codiņera has nothing else to prove. The soft-spoken Cebuano center has performed up to the highest athletic standard worthy enough for him to be enshrined into the hallowed portals of the Philippine Basketball Association's "25 Greatest" players.

A few months after hanging up his jersey for good last year, Codiņera found himself plying a different trade, this time as a coach of TeleTech Titans - a call center company - in the Philippine Basketball League (PBL).

Codiņera admitted he was reluctant at first to accept the job offered to him by the TeleTech management knowing that it entails a lot of challenge being a coach especially in a highly-competitive league such as the PBL.

"Of course there were some apprehensions on my part to accept the job because PBL is a highly-competitive league and is next to PBA in prestige. Saka ang challenge napakalaki. It's completely a different responsibility from a player to coach," said Codiņera.

"Eventually, I accepted the job because it's really been my dream to become a coach," added Codiņera, who was famed for his umbrella-like defense - a skill that earned him a spot to the national team in 1986. Two years later, he made his PBA debut with Purefoods Hotdogs.

Son of Cebuano baseball great Filomeno Codiņera, Jerry was an immovable force at the shaded lane and it did not take long for him to be christened as "Defense Minister" for his tireless manning of the post.

Codiņera said his task as chief bench tactician of TeleTech is not only to implement the system he wants to inject into the mainstream of the team, but also let his players digest and comprehend it.

"My role is not only implementing the system but also digesting it. I should let my players understand our system and make them commit to it," said Codiņera, a perennial PBA All-Defensive Team member who owns a single game record for blocks at 11.

As coach, Codiņera deals to his players with a fatherly approach, saying he only acts as a channel, a guiding light of sort for his players to achieve their dreams.

"I'm going to impart all the things I've learned from the PBA that are helpful to them. I'm just there to guide them and help them reach their ambitions," said Codiņera.

Codiņera has played for 16 years in the PBA, spending the better part of his career with Purefoods where he and now team manager Alvin Patrimonio led the franchise to several titles.

Interestingly, Codiņera came close to winning an MVP award in 1993, but lost to Patrimonio in the tightest race for the prestigious trophy in league history.

Codiņera retired when FedEx traded him to Shell, now replaced by Welcoat Paints, for Ronald Tubid last year.

In his new venture, Codiņera said his ultimate goal - just like any other coaches aspire - is to win a championship. If it will come sooner than expected, he won't waste a single second in grabbing the opportunity.

MVBA
08-26-2006, 10:47 PM
Coach Jerry Codinera and his TeleTech Titans finished in Third Place in the recent MVBA Invitational Cup held in Cebu City. The Titans lost twice and won once. In the final day of the tournament, they lost to the PBA's Santa Lucia Realtors in a close exhibition match, 76-79.