NCAA: Lyceum coach Gilbert Malabanan picking up where ex-mentor Topex Robinson left off
MANILA, Philippines—Lyceum’s success this season still has some of the blueprint by its former mentor Topex Robinson, Pirates coach Gilbert Malabanan said on Tuesday.
Malabanan admitted that he molds his system to Robinson’s when the latter called the shots for Lyceum from 2014 to 2020.
Under the tutelage of Robinson, the Pirates made the semifinals thrice and finals twice in 2017 and 2018—losing to San Beda on both occasions.
“I got this from coach Topex, I am just continuing it. This is the culture he made and I’m just following through,” Malabanan said after steering Lyceum to an 82-80 win over Arellano.
And that aggressive style of Robinson has been making wonders for the Pirates, who are the second-best team in the league in points in the paint (37.1) and third in average points with 77 per game behind College of St. Benilde and San Beda.
The Pirates are also flourishing on the defensive end with a league-best 8.6 steals per outing at the end of the first round.
Malabanan stressed that Robinson’s teaching of being close to the players also affected his outlook.
“If the coaches and players relationship doesn’t mold the way coach Topex taught, our preparations are useless,” Malabanan said.
“I can see their respect in me, I’m gonna trust them and I hope they just believe in me and believe in my system.”
Lyceum are second in the standings at 7-2, trailing top seed CSB (7-1) by just half a game.