Topex Robinson, head coach of the San Sebastian College Stags, will definitely cherish the PCCL national title, possibly, for the rest of his life.
The first will always be memorable, so to speak.
Robinson captured his first-ever title as a head coach when the Stags put up their best showing to beat UAAP titlist and two-time defending champion Ateneo for the PCCL crown last Thursday at the FilOil-Flying V Arena.
In so short of a time, Robinson has done a lot. He opened his collegiate coaching career with 15 straight wins and steered San Sebastian to the NCAA finals in his first year at the helm.
But with a lot still ahead of him, it appeared that the neophyte coach was on the brink of crumbling after bowing to San Beda against the more-experienced Frankie Lim for the title via sweep.
“I was doubting about my capability after we lost the championship to San Beda,” said Robinson after winning the PCCL crown. “I kept asking myself if it is really for me and do my players really believe in me. I always think that for you to be productive, you have to win something to gain the players’ respect.”
It will be doubtful if there will still be doubts with the PCCL title in his pocket.
“With this victory, it is something that you can hold on next year for the NCAA season,” Robinson said.
After his pro career, Robinson moved into coaching when he took his first coaching job with RnW Pacific Pipes in the PBA D-League early this year but before that, he was already an assistant coach with the Alaska Aces in the PBA.
Robinson quickly made it to the big leagues as he was appointed coach of the Stags weeks before the NCAA season started.
That is why Robinson is relishing the victory considering that he coached against the best. He won two out of three times in the Final Four against Ateneo, arguably the best collegiate team in the country on any given day, and mentored by PBA Grand Slam coach Norman Black.
“It’s just so big for me. I played the number one team in the country and that’s a big challenge. I told them that whether we win or not, this is a big plus to me as a coach. The title was an icing on the cake,” Robinson said.
The Stags will savor the PCCL championship. After that, it’s back to the drawing board as they seek for the NCAA crown.
“But we will savor this win and enjoy this time winning the championship. What a way to end the year,” Robinson said.