Finals loss to San Beda will only toughen Lyceum, says Topex Robinson
MANILA, Philippines – It’s just the tip of the iceberg for the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates.
That is what coach Topex Robinson wants his wards to believe after the Pirates were swept by the San Beda College Red Lions in the best-of-3 NCAA Season 93 finals Thursday, November 16.
After all, Lyceum finished at ninth place last year before undergoing a major revamp this season en route to the top spot with an unscathed 18-0 card.
The Pirates were touted to be crowned the next NCAA kings following their season sweep but San Beda, which won its 21st NCAA title, banked on its championship experience to prevail.
Despite the loss, Robinson chose to look at the silver lining that the experience they gained in the finals will be pivotal for their mission in the long run.
“If that’s the result, I’m still going to take that experience. We will carry on that experience as we go along on our journey to be one of the respected programs in the Philippine college basketball.”
The Lyceum faithful will have nothing to worry as the Pirates will maintain an intact core next season.
Only Edcor Marata and Wilson Baltazar will graduate while Most Valuable Player CJ Perez, Mike Nzeusseu, the Marcelino twins of Jaycee and Jayvee and Jesper Ayaay will be returning next year for another potential run to the finals.
“The experience we gained here is just going to make us better. It’s just going to make us a better team and most importantly, it’s going to make us better individuals,” Robinson said.
“I told the team that we’re building a culture. The culture is not an overnight thing, it’s a compilation of years and years of what we’re doing. We’re excited for what lies ahead of us and I always tell them it’s just the tip of the iceberg for us. We have so many basketball to play and so many people to inspire.”
The veteran tactician added that if losing this season resulted in earning people’s respect, he would gladly take it.
“With the people that texted us, even the San Beda alumni that came up to me, ‘You guys really played well.’ That’s more important to me than winning. The respect, the coaches from the other team, the respect that we gained I guess something could overcome winning. I’m excited for today. I know a lot of friendship will be made. I’m excited for that.”
What’s next for the Pirates? It is going back to classes, Robinson said. – Rappler.com