IT has been two months and one week since Topex Robinson last saw the inside of the NCAA press room at The Arena in San Juan.
The San Sebastian coach hopes to finally stop the count and return for a customary winners’ post-game conference after his Golden Stags face the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers on Friday in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
“I hope so, sir,” Robinson said on the eve of the 4 p.m. match as his ninth-ranked team has been mired in a 10-game losing streak and a 3-11 win-loss card overall since posting a 74-72 win over College of St. Benilde last July 11.
The Stags saw a glimmer of hope to snap the skid, but their rally fell short in a 73-75 loss to Letran the last time.
Now the Recto-based squad, led by CJ Perez, Bradwyn Guinto, and Jovit dela Cruz, hopes to get over the hump.
It’s definitely easier said than done as the Stags, who will miss the Final Four for the first time since 2008, take on a Bombers side that’s poised for a return to the playoffs after missing it the last two years.
The Bombers, running third in a tie with the Blazers at 9-5, are also eager to recover from a 69-75 defeat at the hands of second-running Arellano last Friday that widened the gap between the two squads.
Guards Philip Paniamogan and Jaycee Asuncion look to sustain their showings, while slotman Michael Mabulac tries to regain his old form for the Vergel Meneses-mentored Bombers.
St. Benilde tries to keep in step with JRU as it tangles with Letran, whose semifinal hopes are hanging by a thread, earlier at 2 p.m.