FORMER San Sebastian Stags coach Topex Robinson believes it will take some time for the Stags to return to their glory days after Dennis Pineda's pullout as the team's chief patron.
Pineda, the former mayor of Lubao in Pampanga who has backed the squad for the past five years, has left the Stags along with reigning MVP Ian Sangalang. Interim coach Allan Trinidad has been given his walking papers, while forwards Dexter Maiquez and Michael Miranda, and several players from the varsity and reserve squads are also expected to be pulled out of the program.
“It would take a while because of the talent na mawawala,” said Robinson, who was the Stags’ top point guard during their heyday in the late 1990s. “Malaki rin naman ang binigay na tulong nila mayor (Pineda) as far as the talent is concerned.”
“Sana may mga pumunta pa rin (sa San Sebastian),” said Robinson, who is reportedly in the mix for the vacant San Sebastian coaching job.
Robinson was hired as coach of the Stags days before the start of the 2011 NCAA season, replacing Ato Agustin, who then took the coaching job with Petron in the PBA.
In his first year with the team, Robinson led the Calvin Abueva-powered squad to a finals appearance against San Beda. The Stags won the Philippine Collegiate Champions League crown that year.
Robinson, however, resigned during the middle of the NCAA season last August. Insiders and observers believe Robinson’s departure was largely due to the odd structure of the program, which is apparently controlled more by Pineda than by the coaching staff.
But Robinson refused to delve on the issue of his resignation and even thanked Pineda for giving him a chance to coach his alma mater.
“Sila rin naman ang kumuha sa akin. Grateful din ako na binigyan niya ako ng opportunity,” Robinson said.
Robinson is now an assistant coach of the Alaska Aces where Abueva is also playing.