I was in high school when I first saw Jerry Codinera. He was playing for the senior UE Warriors team (he also played for their junior squad) and was a bullstrong and powerful player. He was like a man playing among boys. The only opposing center who gave him fits -- to a certain extent -- was Ateneo's Mike Facundo who was tall and hefty.
When he moved up to the pro ranks, first with Purefoods and then later with Mobiline, he was even better. In fact, they hung the nickname "the Defense Minister" on him because he not only did he guard the lane with impunity but he also took on the imports.
I got to know him when he served as an assistant to Aboy Castro over at UP several years ago. Then he became head coach of the Red Warriors where he never really got going with a team that eventually mutinied. When he landed in Arellano University following Koy Banal, I was surprised at how much better a coach he was. Am not saying he was bad. But I guess, the sum of the previous experiences taught the old warhorse something. And he has been a joy to watch and listen. He led the Chiefs rather unexpectedly to a NCAA Finals berth last Season 90 where they were taken down by San Beda. This year they are somewhat struggling as their frontline isn't as good the previous one.
I'll be following Jerry and his Arellano Chiefs a little more. In the meantime, here's a post-game video following their win over tough College of Saint Benilde.