NCAA title could be cherry on top of Lyceum basketball program’s turnaround
Bitterness usually grips someone’s heart when he experiences a painful loss, especially after a perfect run like what Lyceum had in the 93rd season of the NCAA.
The Pirates went on a perfect 18-0 in the eliminations before losing two straight to perennial powerhouse San Beda in the finals but Topex Robinson’s group has a chance to redeem itself.
But Lyceum’s return to the championship round of the NCAA Season 94 is by no means a way of seeking revenge.
“We just want to enjoy this moment, this opportunity, I want the players to cherish this experience because you won’t play for a long time in college I don’t want to take the fun away from them,” said Robinson in a phone conversation with Inquirer.
“Even I go back to the time when I played college ball,” added Robinson who played for San Sebastian in the late 90s.
With revenge far from their minds, Robinson and Pirates are simply determined on showing that they’re a better, more matured team compared to the one that fell helplessly to San Beda last year.
“Everybody says that this will be the revenge series for us, we don’t consider it that way, the loss gave us lessons on the things that we were lacking the previous year,” said Robinson whose school joined the NCAA in 2011, 87 years after San Beda help found the league.
“We want to get better experience really. Actually this is a win-win situation for us because this is another opportunity for us.”
And even though Robinson led Lyceum into becoming one of the most respected programs in the country, the 38-year-old mentor doesn’t look solely at a basketball standpoint.
Robinson, who began his job with the Pirates in 2014, said the team’s finals appearance in 2017 not only made Lyceum as a premier basketball program but also as better-known educational institution.
“The finals brought the school together, it put Lyceum as a basketball institution and that was our vision ever since we took over that we would bring it to a whole new level,” said Robinson.
“One way to cap this off is to win a championship and that will boost the Lyceum program not just from a basketball standpoint but also academically.”