Codinera: 90s Purefoods teams are the best
Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - November 10, 2014 - 1:48pm

MANILA, Philippines – With apologies to the James Yap-led San Mig Coffee grand slam team, retired star Jerry Codinera opined that any one among their champion teams in the early 90s is the best Purefoods team of all time.

“Practice pa lang noon, parang championship na sa lakas ng team. Yung first team at second team parehong pang-championship (Our practice then was already like a championship since the first team and the second team were of championship caliber), said Codinera.

“Our teams with Jolas (Jojo Lastimosa), with Nelson (Asaytono) and the one featuring the addition of Abe King, in my opinion, would fight it out as Purefoods’ strongest team,” Codinera also said.

Codinera was the lead center of all those champion teams and all the way until he was shipped to Mobiline in 1999 in exchange for Andy Seigle.

His great contribution to the ball club was recognized as his Purefoods’ jersey No. 44 was retired in brief rites before the Purefoods-Ginebra match at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday night.

Accorded the same honors was Rey Evangelista, the 1994 draft second pick who starred for Purefoods from that season to 2009.

Codinera and Rey Evangelista were among the stalwarts of the Purefoods team that ruled the 1994 Commissioner’s Cup along with Alvin Patrimonio, Glenn Capacio, Bong Ravena, Freddie Abuda, Vince Hizon, Peter Naron, Olsen Racela, Frankie Lim, Richie Ticzon, Manny Victorino and King.

Later that year, Codinera, Evangelista and Patrimonio were tapped in the last minute to reinforce the Norman Black-mentored Phl team to the Hiroshima Asian Games.

In 1990, Purefoods bagged its first PBA title in the Reinforced Conference with a lineup composed of Patrimonio, Codinera, Lastimosa, Asaytono, Capacio, Dindo Pumaren, Gido Babilonia, Bai Cristobal, Al Solis, Naning Valenciano, Jack Tanuan, Bernie Fabiosa and imports Darren Queenan and Robert Rose.

The following year, they ruled the all-Filipino tourney with the team made up of Patrimonio, Codinera, Pumaren, Capacio, Asaytono, Elmer Reyes, Boy Cabahug, Joey Santamaria, Jun Tan, Rudy Enterina and Harmon Codinera.

“Hard to say, but I really believe one of those teams is Purefoods’ best team,” said Codinera.

“We didn’t have a grand slam because it’s so hard to get one then. There were only seven teams which were balanced, all with formidable lineups,” he added.

ABE KING AL SOLIS ALVIN PATRIMONIO ANDY SEIGLE ASAYTONO BAI CRISTOBAL BERNIE FABIOSA CODINERA PUREFOODS TEAM
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