As expected, Topex Robinson hit the ground running as he laid down all the rules on his first day of training as head coach of De La Salle University.
In a video, the 48-year-old Robinson challenged the Green Archers to take both sports and academics seriously and emphasized that being a basketball player is not forever.
Robinson is using the same approach that made him successful when he was still coaching Lyceum of the Philippines University.
With the Pirates, he puts special premium on the core values of compassion, understanding and respect that resulted to back-to-back trips to the finals of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
They may have failed to win the title, but Robinson was able to produce a superstar in CJ Perez, who had blossomed into one of the best players in the Philippine Basketball Association.
“I cannot do it alone. I need everybody so let’s make sure to help each other out,” said Robinson, who took the coaching cudgels for veteran tactician Derrick Pumaren in Season 86 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.
“We’re not helping you if we are letting go of you not attending your classes or not taking care of your subjects.”
Robinson clarified that he aligned his coaching style to the core values of the school: Spirit of faith, zeal for service and communion in mission.
“Their (La Salle) culture is my culture. I’m just here to help them live that,” Robinson said.
“It’s about faith, service, and communion. I’m always trying to instill that and if you’re gonna ask the players, I’m like a broken record already by repeating it.”
“Not only do I have to instill it in them, but I have to instill it in myself also.”
Big man Ben Phillips told Daily Tribune that he immediately felt the impact of Robinson’s arrival.
“He’s truly an amazing and charismatic leader,” the Filipino-American big man said.
“He doesn’t look to lead by authoritarianism but by mutual collaboration and also individualized consideration for each and every player.”
“It’s refreshing to know that even at this stage as we head towards tryouts and final roster selection later this year, people aren’t in silos or by themselves, but everyone is trying to make their brother better in practice.”