Now-champion coach Topex bares self-doubt after Archers lopsidedly lost Game 1

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Now-champion coach Topex bares self-doubt after Archers lopsidedly lost Game 1
La Salle head coach Topex Robinson
Philstar.com / Martin Ramos

MANILA, Philippines – La Salle head coach Topex Robinson joined an elite company on Wednesday, as he now counts himself among the first-year coaches in La Salle who have led the Green Archers to the championship.

This after after the Archers repulsed the UP Fighting Maroons in three games to rule the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday.

Winning it all in his first try with the Taft-based squad, Robinson follows the footsteps  of Aldin Ayo, Franz Pumaren and Juno Sauler as rookie coaches who steered La Salle the title.

But it was unbeknownst to everybody that Robinson’s faith had actually wavered in the early goings of their finals series.

After UP handed La Salle a 30-point beating in the finals opener, Robinson said that he needed to keep himself in check to get back on his feet and fashion La Salle’s journey to the title.

“That first game loss was really challenging for me.It kind of asked me if I'm really here if para ba talaga ako sa coaching,” said Robinson, who just won his first-ever title as a coach in the college ranks. 

“But every time I see [my players], it gives me the courage to move forward because you know I draw my strength from them.”

La Salle’s blowout loss was the biggest in UAAP history for Game 1 of the finals. But just as his wards were able to adapt, so did the tactician as he kept himself in check to come out on top in the coaching chess match against UP’s Goldwin Monteverde.

Robinson beamed with gratitude for his Archers as they gave him his maiden title as a college coach. This after previously losing in his three championship tries -- one with San Sebastian and twice with Lyceum -- when he was still in the NCAA.

While people expect that his players learn from him, Robinson admitted that he was also the one to draw strength from his team whenever the going got tough.

“Every time I see them, they challenge me. They check on me if I'm okay and that's really something that's really priceless for me as opposed to you know just not to be their coach but to be their friend," said Robinson. 

“Yun siguro ang malaking bagay sa akin.”

Robinson thus gets the honor of being the architect for La Salle’s 10th championship and their first since 2016.

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