Stags coach Robinson upbeat despite losing Pinatubo Trio
By Aldo Avinante Updated Friday June 21, 2013 - 5:13pm

San Sebastian coach Topex Robinson

MANILA, Philippines - Returning San Sebastian coach Topex Robinson will be handling a vastly different Golden Stags team in their NCAA Season 89 campaign with the departure of marquee stars Calvin Abueva, Ronald Pascual and Ian Sanggalang.

The Stags will retain only five players while taking in 10 new rookies in what could be a rebuilding year for the perennial NCAA contender.

"We're a bunch of rookies with only five holdovers from last year. We are pretty much a scratch and claw team this year," said Robinson, who resigned in the middle of the season last year but is back for another tour of duty.

"It's incomparable from last year from top to bottom, but then again it's a challenge for us coaches to make this team competitive with whatever talent we have right now," he added.

Robinson knows they have their work cut out for them in trying to replace their core last year that has been a yearly fixture in the NCAA's Final Four affair.

"We lost a lot of point production from last year to now. The good thing in this group is we are not going to depend on a few players alone to carry the load," Robinson said.

"It will be a collective effort for the team on both ends of the floor," he added.

Despite the departure of their core especially the Pinatubo Trio, Robinson believes he will have a competitive squad with two incoming heralded rookies CJ Perez and Leo De Vera to shore up their lineup.

"We have a very promising in rookie CJ Perez and also Leo De Vera has played well in the preseason tournaments. And of course Jovit Dela Cruz is back to provide the veteran leadership for the team," Robinson said.

Robinson assured the Stags faithful they are gunning for another playoff appearance.

"We are preparing to play in the Final Four. If that is not in our plans, we shouldn't be working as hard as we are doing right now," Robinson said.

"It's hard to gauge our capabilities right now but rest assured we are going to compete and play our hearts our every game," he ended.

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