MANILA, Philippines – A mild-mannered coach like Topex Robinson also has a fiery side.
The Phoenix tactician figured in a heated exchange with Bay Area star Myles Powell late in the third quarter of the Fuel Masters’ 101-91 loss to the Dragons in the PBA Commissioners Cup on Saturday, October 1.
Robinson needed to be restrained by game officials and team staff as he tried to confront Powell, who he claimed taunted Phoenix rookie Encho Serrano.
Both Robinson and Powell were called for technical fouls.
“I just felt that I had to protect my player. It just came to a point that he was taunting. I know it was Encho. I just felt that I had to protect Encho,” Robinson said.
Tempers flared earlier in the third quarter after Serrano stuck his tongue out in front of Powell.
Officials slapped Serrano with a technical foul for taunting and he immediately got subbed out by Robinson.
“I told Encho, that was not the right way to do it. You have to play hard. Play physical, but do not play dirty,” Robinson said. “He did something like that, I felt that I had to correct Encho.”
According to Robinson, he took exception to Powell taunting even with Serrano already benched.
“I just told him to stop doing it,” Robinson said. “It was part of the moment. At the end of the day, it is basketball. We lost to a better team. We have to give credit to them.”
Robinson and Powell immediately buried the hatchet as they hugged it out at the end of the game.
“I have nothing against Myles. I apologized to him after. He is really a great guy,” Robinson said.
With the incident behind him, Robinson turns his focus on guiding the Fuel Masters to victory as they sit at the bottom of the standings with a 0-3 card.
Phoenix has taken several blows to its campaign after Matthew Wright decided to pursue a career in the Japan B. League and Jason Perkins underwent a knee surgery that will keep him out of the season.
“We know that it is going to be hard. We know that this conference for us is going to be hard because we lost Matt, and then Perk all of a sudden cannot play. Like I told them, it is never going to be easy.” – Rappler.com