PHOENIX and coach Topex Robinson finally parted ways, ending a five year partnership highlighted by a memorable semifinal stint in the PBA Philippine Cup bubble.
Management confirmed letting go of Robinson on Thursday, while announcing at the same time deputy coach Jamike Jarin will take over the post on an interim basis.
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“We thank coach Topex for his five years of service with Phoenix, and wish him the very best as he pursues other endeavors,” said Phoenix in a statement.
Robinson came on board the franchise when Louie Alas was hired as head coach back in 2017, and then assumed the position as interim coach when Alas left the team just before the first ever bubble conference in Clark, Pampanga three years ago.
During that challenging Philippine Cup campaign amid the pandemic, Robinson steered a Phoenix side featuring Calvin Abueva, Matthew Wright, Justin Chua, Jason Perkins, RJ Jazul, among others, to the semifinals for just the second time in franchise history.
The Fuel Masters almost made it to the title series but lost the deciding Game Five of their semifinal duel against TNT Tropang Giga in a series they led halfway through.
Incidentally, Robinson was signed as head coach during the course of the bubble.
Management didn’t mention the reason why it let go of Robinson, although sources told SPIN.ph both parties failed to reach a common ground on the new contract being sought by the 48-year-old coach.
Robinson said his goodbye to the players during practice on Tuesday and was not around when Phoenix played Meralco in a tune up on Wednesday.
Jarin, who joined Robinson’s coaching staff during the Clark bubble, had to assume the coaching position immediately with the Governors’ Cup fast approaching.
“Coach Jamike has been with the team since 2020 and has played a significant role in the team’s building and development process,” management said.