Codinera preaches defense at Arellano

By Joey Villar, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 22 2014 08:21 PM | Updated as of Jun 23 2014 04:26 PM

Jerry Cordinera of Arellano University addresses questions from the media during the NCAA Season 90 press conference held at the SM MOA Arena. Photo by Mark Cristino for

MANILA, Philippines -- Arellano University hopes a change of scenery will help it finally hit its target of making the Final Four this year. And new Chiefs coach Jerry Codinera hopes not to disappoint.

Codinera, who is the third coach next to Leo Isaac and Koy Banal tapped by Arellano since it entered the league five years ago, feels optimistic he can help steer the Chiefs to improve on its sixth place finish from last year and hopefully steer them to the Final Four for the first time ever.

"It's not a promise but I hope I could help my team make the Final Four this year," said Codinera, who also coach University of the East in the UAAP before making the jump to Arellano.

Codinera said he is impressed with the team he inherited.

Prince Caperal, Keith Agovida, John Pinto, Nichole Bangga, Levi Hernandez, Ralph Salcedo, Julius Cadavis and Fil-Canadian shooter Zach Nichols will return this year to help the Chiefs improve their 8-10 (win-loss) record a season back and hopefully advance to the Final Four this time.

Isiah Ciriacruz has returned from a three-year hiatus after playing for the Chiefs in their first two seasons in the NCAA while Fil-Ams Dioncee Holts and David Ortega are two promising rookies that should fill the vacuum left by Fil-Canadians James Forrester and AJ Serjue.

"With an intact line up, I like our chances this season," said Codinera.

Codinera, called the Defense Minister during his PBA heydays, said he's trying to impart to his players the attitude of being defense-minded.

"Although we're a more balanced team this year, my primary concern is preaching to the players the importance of defense, which helped made me who I am when I was still a player," said Codinera.

Of course, everything starts from hardwork and the belief it can be done.

"Hardwork and the belief that we can do it will be important in our campaign this year," he said.