SAN Sebastian's dynastic reign in the NCAA in the nineties wouldn't have been possible without Ulysees ‘Buboy’ Tanigue.
So said Topex Robinson.
Robinson paid tribute to his former college teammate, who passed away on Sunday after a long battle with leukemia. Robinson played with Tanigue only for once season in 1997, but he has fond memories of the player he shared the point-guard duties with as a rookie.
“Rookie year ko, last year niya,” Robinson recalled to SPIN.ph when asked about the San Sebastian great “Nangyayari noon, starter ako tapos siya na ‘yung papasok.”
The Stags won the last of five successive championships during that 1997 campaign, which was also the final year of Tanigue with the Recto-based team.
As for Robinson, he eventually became a head coach of their alma mater and later Lyceum, where he teamed up with another member of that multi-titled side in two-time NCAA MVP Rommel Adducul.
Robinson said the accomplishments of the Stags as well as Adducul wouldn’t have been possible without Tanigue.
“Rommel Adducul wouldn’t be MVP if there was no Buboy Tanigue because of the way he made everybody look good,” Robinson said.
Robinson said Tanigue is right up there as one of the smartest players he has seen, saying his knowledge of the game, from his passing skills to his scoring ability, was remarkable for a player in the college ranks.
“He is really a different breed kasi he is not as quick, he is not as strong. Pero ‘yung basketball IQ niya, he is really super smart. There are shots na hindi mo maiisip na ititira niya,” said Robinson.
Robinson also said Tanigue’s work ethic was something to emulate.
”He really helped me a lot. ‘Yung sa guidance kasi malalim ‘yung knowledge niya. PBA was a ticket for him out of poverty at ‘yun ang nakita namin sa kanya,” said Robinson.
Tanigue played in the PBA after being drafted in 1998, but never made it big in the pros owing to ‘personal problems,’ according to persons close to him.
Tanigue returned briefly to his alma mater in 2015 when he became an assistant coach of the Stags under another former teammate in Rodney Santos.
But for Robinson, Tanigue‘s legacy with the Stags was indelible.
“He really carried us,” Robinson said.