The veteran coach is slowly easing his way in and infusing some “Topex things” into the team.
Topex Robinson waited 28 years to be in his current position.
Even as a San Sebastian Stag back in 1995, he dreamt about being a part of the La Salle basketball program. Now, he’s the man in charge no less.
Robinson is slowly easing his way in and infusing some “Topex things” into the team led by Kevin Quiambao.
Among them is emphasizing the importance of classes.
“We’re not helping you if we’re letting go of you not attending classes,” Robinson told his players during their first official practice in a video he posted on his YouTube channel. “This is not just about basketball, guys. We’re talking about more than basketball.”
The former Phoenix head coach in the PBA added: “If you have class, if you have something to catch up with class, that’s the priority.”
It also wouldn’t be Topex Robinson without the hugs. So, the amiable tactician asked his players to do away with fist bumps since they were deprived of contact for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m a hugger. I want that contact. We’re losing that contact,” said Robinson, who shared he never got to hug his mom when the latter succumbed to COVID-19.
In Tuesday’s episode of "The Game," Robinson, a father figure to his players even at Lyceum, revealed he is also staying at the team’s dorm in the hope of building a deep, meaningful relationship with them.
“Yes, I’ll be partly staying there. Actually, kakalipat ko lang kanina. If you wanna build a relationship with the players, you have to be with them even outside of the basketball court,” he said.
While there’s Robinson imprint everywhere, he insisted it’s still La Salle’s culture.
“Just like what I said earlier, it’s pretty much their culture is my culture,” he said.
Before signing up for the job, Robinson is aware of how “unforgiving” the La Salle community can be. That’s why the former PBA point guard is only eyeing a championship for the team that missed the Final Four in Season 85.
“If you’re not thinking about winning a championship, you better get out of it. This is an unforgiving community. We’re always gonna think about championship or even die trying. That's basically what we’re gonna do,” he said
“I’m not trying to pretend that I don't know what the La Salle community expects. So, it’s always gonna be win a championship. When you practice, you always think about winning a championship. That's the standard that was set even before me, but the coaches that came before me here, so it’s no surprise that winning a championship is the main goal here.”