It was a night to remember for legendary mentor Joe Lipa after getting reunited with his former players during an exhibition match in the finals of the Ballout Sports Season 2 Founder’s Cup late Sunday at the Marikina Sports Center.
Lipa couldn’t help but be excited when he rubbed elbows with basketball greats Allan Caidic, Jerry Codiñera and Marlou Aquino, who played for the Celebrity All-Stars team that battled Cocolife Ballout All-Stars in a friendly duel.
Lipa said bumping into his former players was like reliving the great times.
“It’s nice to see all my former players again coming together. It’s like a reunion of sorts,” Lipa said.
“I couldn’t be prouder to see them both just becoming great players, but also becoming great persons and continue to inspire people through the game of basketball.”
Caidic and Codiñera were teammates at University of the East when it won back-to-back titles in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines in 1984 and 1985.
Their success in the collegiate ranks paved the way for them to be part of the national squad that carried the colors of Northern Consolidated Cement under late great Ron Jacobs.
When the EDSA Revolution erupted, Lipa took over the national squad and gained the golden chance to handle Caidic and Codiñera in the 1987 Southeast Asian Games.
Lipa was also the architect of the University of the Philippines’ UAAP crown in 1986 and won two gold medals in the SEA Games — the last was in 1985 with Aquino as the main man in the middle.