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Topex Robinson named La Salle coach

Topex Robinson is officially La Salle-bound. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—After weeks of speculations, La Salle has officially named Topex Robinson as its men's basketball coach for UAAP Season 86.

Following an announcement on Thursday, Robinson formally replaced Derrick Pumaren as the Green Archers' head coach as they look to reclaim the UAAP title they last won in 2016.

"De La Salle University is proud to announce the appointment of Michael Christopher 'Topex' Robinson as head coach of the men's basketball team effective today, January 19, 2023," La Salle said in a statement.

The San Sebastian alumnus previously coached Phoenix in the PBA, but last week, he stepped down as its head coach, further fueling speculations that he might be on his way to La Salle.

Robinson is a champion in the amateur ranks both as a player and a coach.

Robinson was among the last batch of players in the Golden Stags' five-peat NCAA champion squads during the mid-90s before he turned pro in 1999.

Upon retiring from playing in 2011, he returned to his alma mater to become its head coach, leading a team led by current Magnolia teammates Calvin Abueva and Ian Sangalang to the 2011 PCCL title.

He then moved to Lyceum in 2015, and behind the leadership of current San Miguel star CJ Perez and Cebu City Chooks star Harry Nzeusseu, the team swept the 2017 NCAA regular season, although the team got swept by eventual champion San Beda in the finals.

The following year, however, turned out to be Robinson's breakout year as head coach as he led the Pirates to the PCCL title, avenging their NCAA Finals loss to the Red Lions in the national championship game, and the PBA D-League Aspirant's Cup championship.

On the other hand, the Green Archers thanked Pumaren for his two seasons with them as their gaffer.

Behind Pumaren, La Salle made it to the UAAP Final Four in Season 84 and won it all in the PBA D-League Aspirant's Cup, which served as one of the preseason events for Season 85.

Unfortunately, the Archers' D-League success did not translate to UAAP glory as they missed the Final Four, losing to Season 85 hosts Adamson Soaring Falcons in the wildcard game, and they decided not to renew ties with him when his contract ended at the end of 2022.

"DLSU extends its appreciation to former head coach Derrick Pumaren for his dedicated service to the Green Archers," La Salle's statement concluded.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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