AS EXPECTED, the most emotional in the Lyceum squad after its two-game loss to San Beda in the NCAA Season 93 Finals was the captain of the ship.
Coach Topex Robinson failed to hold back his tears right after the match and inside the locker room but once the dust settled, the soft-spoken Lyceum mentor realized the best is yet to come for the team.
After all, nobody expected the Pirates to sweep the elimination round and head into the finals as favorites. And the Lyceum coach already achieved his goal, which is to change the culture of the Pirates.
“If we’ll lose this game, we’d rather lose this way. We gave our best and may peace of mind kami knowing that San Beda is the better team tonight. I’m just so proud of the team and the potential of the team,” said Robinson after the match on Thursday.
“What we experienced today will make us better as a team. I couldn’t have asked for more. Sabi ko nga, nobody thought na mag-18-0 kami, I never thought about it. But what’s important here are the lessons learned, the memories that we made and I’m sure we’ll bounce back from it,” he added. “We’ll cry over it, but tomorrow, for sure, we’ll build it up already.”
Moving on from this defeat will definitely be easier said than done after the Pirates came two wins away from making history.
But as long as they have each other, the path to redemption will be easier.
“Whatever experience that we have right now, I’m sure there’s a reason for it. At the end of the day, we’re a family and we will keep helping and supporting each other,” Robinson said.
“The more that they need me now as their father. How they’re gonna face this situation and the more I also need my players. I draw strength from them knowing that they really gave their best.”
With Wilson Baltazar and Edcor Marata as the only players who’ll be out of this team next year, Robinson is optimistic for the Pirates next season.
Guys like Season MVP CJ Perez, Mike Nzeusseu and MJ Ayaay will be back along with young stars JV and JC Marcellino, all armed with valuable experience in the big stage.
“I just told them, our vision won’t stop just because of losing these Finals. We just made a bigger platform now of really pushing through with our vision. I’m excited for what lies ahead for us after this experience. At the end of the day, we will be defined as a team – how we faced this loss, this adversity,” he said.
“Season 93 is the tip of the iceberg for us. We have so much things to really be grateful for and we just have to continue doing what we’re doing. We have a vision and there’s no metric for that,” Robinson added. “What’s important is our vision we’ll keep on going, keep on moving, and it just lit a fire that really’s gonna keep this fire burning for us.”