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MANILA, Philippines – Seasoned head coach and former professional basketball player Topex Robinson has been named the new head coach of De La Salle Green Archers, the university announced on Thursday, January 19.
Robinson was one of the frontrunners for the job throughout the interview process and was eventually selected over veteran tactician Luigi Trillo in the final stages of La Salle’s search for a mentor to take over the men’s basketball program after the expiration of former head coach Derrick Pumaren’s contract last December 31.
The 48-year-old Robinson agreed to a three-year contract as the Green Archers look to revive their basketball glory and return to the UAAP Final Four next season.
Robinson, whose last coaching gig was with Phoenix in the PBA, sought the opportunity to coach the Green Archers with so much enthusiasm that he allowed the deadline of his decision to re-sign with Phoenix pass despite not having a guarantee that he would be hired by La Salle.
In a previous conversation with Rappler, Robinson called it a “dream of mine” to coach the Green Archers.
Trillo, who is currently an assistant coach with Meralco also in the PBA, gained momentum as a candidate this week as certain decision-makers valued his track record of success, which includes a PBA title in 2013 with Alaska, and ties to the La Salle community.
Trillo played for DLSU from 1993-1996 and his father, Joaqui Trillo, was a former head coach of the Green Archers.
But ultimately the choice was Robinson, who vocalized his plans for DLSU’s roster and willingness to coach the team early in the search. Given Robinson’s ability to develop relationships with student-athletes and his success in the NCAA with Lyceum and San Sebastian, he was an appealing choice.
Coaches Jeff Cariaso and Louie Alas also applied for the position while there were preliminary conversations to gauge whether there would be interest from foreign coaching options such as Brian Goorjian, Bill Tomlinson, Nenad Vucinic, and Rajko Toroman that didn’t progress far.
The Green Archers have been back in practice working on their strength and conditioning under coaches Gian Nazario and Mon Jose, both of whom are expected to be part of Robinson’s staff, along with women’s team head coach Cholo Villanueva.