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    RJ Jazul says Phoenix transition from Topex to Jarin almost seamless

    Feb 3, 2023
    Jamike Jarin Phoenix coach
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    RJ Jazul doesn’t see the Phoenix Fuel Masters having a hard time adjusting from coaches Topex Robinson to Jamike Jarin.

    It’s a good thing the team has long known Jarin that there was no problem with the continuity from what Robinson had started.

    “Honestly, wala namang pagbabago sa plays. Yung wala lang si coach (Topex) around the system, yun lang ang bago,” said the veteran guard. “Hindi naman mahirap (ang adjustment). Nakakapanibago lang.”

    READ: Jamike looking to replicate college, HS success

    Jazul showed he remained at home playing within that same Phoenix system as he fired 5-of-7 from three-point range to help the Fuel Masters score their first win of the PBA Governors Cup, 108-97, against NorthPort on Thursday at the Philsports Arena.

    The veteran guard finished with 16 points including seven in the fourth period to help the team quell a huge comeback by the Batang Pier from 27 points down.

    The win snapped Phoenix’s three game skid to start the conference and give Jarin his first official victory as PBA head coach.


      Like Robinson who was also with Jazul since their Alaska days, the playmaker out of Letran is all too familiar with Jarin for a long time now.

      “Matagal na rin naman namin kasing nakasama si coach Jamike, bubble days pa. And we get along well with him and the rest of the coaching staff, sila coach Willie (Wilson), coach Jon (Jacinto) and the others,” he said.

      It can be noted, too, that some of the key players during that Philippine Cup bubble campaign in Clark, Pampanga are no longer around for Phoenix, personalities such as Matthew Wright, Justin Chua, Calvin Abueva, and Robinson.


      Only jazul, Jason Perkins, and RR Garcia are left from the team.

      The stint was perhaps the finest moment in Phoenix franchise history, one which saw the team come a win short of reaching the finals for the first time ever, only to lose to TNT Tropang Giga in the sudden-death Game 5.

      Such is the reality of professional basketball, according to Jazul.

      “When we’re in practice nga ang lokohan namin nwaala na yung iba, a” he said. “Pero nothing against it naman. The PBA is a business, you can be traded anytime.

      “Just be happy na meron kaming trabaho at meron kaming team.”

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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