TOPEX Robinson commended the Phoenix Fuel Masters for acting and playing like a true pro despite the internal issues currently hounding the franchise.
The Fuel Masters earned the respect and admiration of their coach for going all-out in registering their breakthrough win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup by overcoming previously unbeaten NLEX Road Warriors, 111-97, Saturday at the Philsports Arena.
See: Beleaguered Phoenix keeps focus to grab first win, spoil Lim's NLEX debut
The morale-boosting victory comes just five days after news came out about the financial trouble hounding the team, specifically team owner Dennis Uy, whose 17 bank accounts were garnished following a notice issued by court sheriff Edwin Vasquez of the Nasugbu, Batangas Regional Trial Court over complaint of unpaid debt.
“We just focused on the opportunity now. That’s the only thing we could control of. We don’t have control of what’s happening around us. We are professionals and we’re just acting like one,” said Robinson during the post-game presser.
Phoenix earned the win behind the caree-high 26 points of rookie Tyler Tio, who scored 18 points in the second half alone. He was also 5-of-10 from three-point range and also registered a career-best seven assists.
There’s also Javee Mocon, who added 23 points, import Kaleb Weeson had monster numbers of 22 points, 21 rebounds, and seven assists, while RJ Jazul and rookie Encho Serrano each had 17 in the win that raised the team’s record to 1-3.
“We just braced that things will be hard, the easy will never come to us,” said Robinson. “These guys amidst everything that’s happening around us, we just kept our guts together. We nade the environment that we’re in to be safe where we could express whatever we could express.”
The trouble facing the team somehow also kept the team together in times of adversity.
“It’s a challenge. We owe it to the team also to make sure that we’ll gonna fight like hell. They’ve been so good to us with everything that is happening even in the pandemic. They stuck with us and we’re just repaying what management has given us, and that’s enough fuel for us to really go all out,” added Robinson.
The Phoenix coach stressed there’s no one who understands and support the Fuel Masters more than their families and loved ones.
“Nobody believes in us. Sabi ko nga sa kanila before our game, only our family believes in us, and that’s way enough motivation for us to really work it out because we’re doing this for our family and our loved ones,” said Robinson.
“And it just shows how dedicated these guys are to the team, to Boss and the management for always believing in us, and making sure also that whatever is happening outside, they assured us that they’re going to take care of it to the best of their ability. We’re just repaying the management especially Boss Dennis.”