Codinera’s 3-guard Arellano trio best he’s been a part of in his career
by rick olivares
Jerry Codinera has played with some offensive dynamos in his playing career — Allan Caidic with the University of the East and power-packed line-ups with Purefoods that had big guns like Alvin Patrimonio, Nelson Asaytono, Jojo Lastimosa, and Dindo Pumaren. But he has never had the kind of three-guard line-up that he routinely employs as head coach of the Arellano Chiefs.
“With UE, it was just Allan who could shoot from anywhere on the court,” Codinera pointed out the differences between his fabled squads of old with his new one. “In Purefoods, more or less, complete team yun from every position possible.”
“Here in Arellano, I have a team that thrives on small ball,” pointed out Codinera who is used to pounding opponents inside the post. Against the Cardinals, Codinera’s three-guard line-up of Jiovani Jalalon, Kent Michael Salado, and Donald Gumaru scored 65 points! As a result, his Chiefs seized their 14 victory in 17 matches, a 95-82 win over Mapua last Tuesday, September 20 to take the all-important twice-to-beat advantage come the Final Four of the 92nd season of the NCAA.
Jalalon averages 21.8 points while Salado chips in 14.0 points a game. Gumaru has had an up and down season, sometimes contributing and sometimes, shooting blanks. It was his highest scoring game this season with 15 markers as he averages 4.6 points per game. It was trio's best outing this season.
The only other high scoring guards corps is from the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers with Teytey Teodoro firing 16.1 points while Paolo Pontejos adds 10.8 of his own.
“A lot of the offenses in the NCAA are run and gun unlike in the UAAP na mas-set up yung offense,” noted Arellano’s coach. “I think I am lucky because my small men can do a lot of things.”
Codinera oft uses his guards to play anywhere from the one to the three spots. Aside from Jalalon, Salado, and Gumaru, there’s also sniper Zach Nichols, Brylle Meca, Kraniel Villoria, and Ariel Aguirre.
During the win against Mapua, Aguirre didn’t score a point but he chalked up two brilliant assists wherein he sent the ball to where his teammates were supposed to run. “That takes a very good understanding of your teammate,” pointed out Codinera.
Referring to his trio of Jalalon, Salado, and Gumaru, “Sometimes, you just wish you could sit back and enjoy the show. And I have the best seat in the house."