Mixers to retire Codiñera jersey
Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - October 11, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Jerry Codiñera and Rey Evangelista, the next most important players after Alvin Patrimonio in Purefoods/San Mig Coffee’s first two decades in the PBA, will be feted by the ball club in a jersey retirement ceremony set before the Mixers’ match with the Barangay Ginebra Kings at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Nov. 9.

Codiñera, who played the first 11 years of his 17-year fabled career with the team, and Evangelista, a Purefoods player all through his 14-year pro career, will only be the second and third player accorded such rites by the Purefoods/San Miguel Food franchise after Patrimonio.

“This is to express our gratitude, appreciation and recognition to their great contribution to our franchise,” said San Mig Coffee top official Rene Pardo of the ceremony where they’re retiring Codiñera’s Jersey No. 44 and Evangelista’s Jersey No. 7.

“Actually, we’ve not allowed anybody to wear Codiñera’s jersey number. As for Rey’s jersey number, the last to wear that was JC Intal,” Pardo also said.

“Rey was a Purefoods player through and through. Si Gerry, he was crying when we traded him. Galit sa akin ang mga tao noon for the trade,” Pardo recalled.

Codiñera, a member of the original Purefoods team in 1988, was a major star in the team’s nine championships from 1990-97.

In that period, the 6-foot-6 center from the University of the East made it to the Mythical First Team thrice and to the Mythical Second Team five times. He also became a Best Player of the Conference twice and contended for the season MVP award also at least twice.

Evangelista, meanwhile, helped Purefoods win five crowns in his tenure as a Hotdog.

The former Santo Tomas stalwart won the Sportsmanship Award three times, made it to the All-Defensive Team also thrice and bagged a Best Player of the Conference once in the 2002 Governors Cup.

In 1994, Codiñera and Evangelista, together with Patrimonio and Johnny Abarrientos, were tapped in the last minute to reinforce the San Miguel Beer team that carried the national colors in the Asian Games in Hiroshima. They made the semis and eventually settled for fourth place.

Codiñera is now currently coaching the Arellano Chiefs in the NCAA while Evangelista is back in his home province in the South.

Earlier on Oct. 22, San Mig Coffee holds its grand slam ring ceremony before playing its first game in PBA Season 40 versus Alaska Milk at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

A replica of the grand slam ring will be available for the interested fans by November.

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