Arellano fulfilled Jalalon and Codinera’s destiny to be together

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 24, 2015 08:44 PM
AU fulfilled Jalalon and Codinera’s destiny to be together
WHILE YOU ALREADY KNOW JERRY CODINERA, YOU SHOULD KNOW JIOVANI JALALON. Jiovani Jalalon and Jerry Codinera were only able to find success as player and coach, respectively, when they got to Arellano.

When then-University of the East coach Jerry Codinera met a then 17-year-old raw prospect from Cagayan de Oro named Jiovani Jalalon, little did he know that not only was he mining one of the most hidden gems in recruitment history, but also establishing the partnership that would later give him his first taste of success as a signal-caller.

Jalalon did not end up in Recto, although they did offer him a scholarship, nor did Codinera prove long for his alma mater after he fell short in meeting their expectations which were, in his words: “When I was with UE, nagmamadali na sila sa resulta.”

The CDO native then tried out for Arellano University, but the coaching staff under then coach Leo Isaac did not go out and get him for undisclosed reasons. So Jalalon wound up and played for two years with Informatix before Koy Banal took over and invited him back to Sampaloc.

Asked what pushed him to accept Banal’s offer, Jalalon told ABS-CBN Sports, “Sabi ko nun, pwede na ako bumalik kasi gusto na nila ako. Marami rin akong kababayan dun so siyempre mas comfortable.”

Still, the point guard did not find his now renowned all-around game under his new mentor as he said, “Kay coach Koy, hindi pa ako masyado kumpyansa sa laro ko.” In fact, Jalalon nearly transferred to another school if not for Codinera’s assumption of coaching duties in 2014.

Nung nalaman ko na si coach Jerry na, kasi siya rin yung coach sa UE dati na gusto ako kunin, sabi ko sige mag-stay na ako rito,” he said. With Codinera’s guidance, Jalalon thrived and burst onto the scene, averaging 12.8 points, 5.8 assists, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.8 steals all while steering the Chiefs to an unexpected run at the Finals.

Talking about the man who harnessed his potential, the CDO native told ABS-CBN Sports, “Wala na si Vani sa Arellano kung wala si coach Jerry.”

In a separate interview, the basketball legend shared that Jalalon was indeed one of the players who immediately and greatly bought in to his philosophy. “Lagi kong sinasabi, this is an opportunity to show what we can do. It’s really heartwarming when you can see support in the eyes of the players,” Codinera said.

With the brilliant play of Jalalon and reigning Rookie of the Year Dioncee Holts, Codinera experienced in Arellano what he wasn’t given the chance to complete in UE. “The Defense Minister” more than tripled in one year in Sampaloc (13-5) his record during one and a half years in Recto (4-18).

Along with being blessed with amazing talent, Codinera admitted that the Arellano management’s trust played a big factor in the school’s successful season. “To win, dapat all elements will be present. They believe in us, believe in the team, yun ang difference dito,” he said.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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