TOPEX ROBINSON coaching in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP)—and De La Salle University at that—ranks tops in his bucket list.
That’s why it was a no-brainer for the former San Sebastian College top guard deciding on no longer extending a coaching career in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
“It’s a unique feeling when you are coaching in college, especially for a university like De La Salle University,” Robinson told BusinessMirror over the weekend. “I have nothing against coaching in the PBA, just like ‘Coach K’ who didn’t jump to the NBA [National Basketball Association].”
Coach K is Mike Krzyzewski, the legendary coach at Duke who has also mentored Team USA to several Olympic and world championships gold medal who declined at least five lucrative offers by NBA teams.
“It’s not about the money, but coaching in college is what I feel most and the opportunity to coach La Salle is something I cannot ignore because they are a big institution,” Robinson said.
Robinson said he’s fan of La Salle growing up.
“When I was at San Sebastian and our school bus passed by La Salle on Taft Avenue heading to the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, I always had that dream of playing for that school.”
But now, although I can no longer play, coaching La Salle is the best thing to happen to me,” he added.
BusinessMirror learned that Robinson’s contract with De La Salle runs for three seasons.
Robinson also admitted that Phoenix Super LPG offered him a close to P400,000 a month contract for 17 months with an extension of one year if he hits the team’s goal. He declined but clarified his decision to coach the Green Archers had nothing to do with Phoenix’s direction.
“It wasn’t the trades. In fact, I was involved in those trade transactions,” he said.
Before the pros, Robinson coached his alma mater to the 2011 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Finals as well as Lyceum of the Philippines University.
His task at De La Salle aims a championship, no less.
“I was hired because La Salle expects a championship. We will do our best to achieve it,” Robinson said. “I may be the most popular man for them [La Salle community] but I could also be the most hated man if I don’t meet their expectations. I’m ready for it.”
He replaced Derrick Pumaren whose three-season contract wasn’t renewed.