Topex Robinson discusses how he and Aldin Ayo are reshaping PBA landscape
Playing the cards he is dealt with, Phoenix coach Topex Robinson believes—even without talking to his Converge counterpart—that he and Aldin Ayo are both changing the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) landscape in their literal little ways.
“The common belief is that if you don’t have a great big man in this league is that you have very little chance,” Robinson told the Inquirer over the phone Tuesday night on the eve of his Fuel Masters’ clash with the FiberXers in the Commissioner’s Cup eliminations—where the tournament’s hottest teams part ways at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City.
“What I like about me and coach Aldin is that we are both trying to change that landscape,” Robinson said of the 3 p.m. game. “We want fast-paced games. We have young teams, it would be like watching collegiate basketball. And that makes it exciting.”
Robinson has never really had a dominant big man ever since taking over the reins at Phoenix, which is why a five-game winning streak—the same run Converge is currently in—seems like a surprise to a lot.
After opening with three straight losses, small ball has given Phoenix a solid shot at a top four finish—if not at a twice-to-beat privilege.
But Robinson, who will break in small center Jason Perkins after a long layoff, does not want to sound greedy.
“We’re in a good position,” Robinson said with the Fuel Masters in fifth spot. “But if we look at our standing, our big challenge actually will be our next three games. Obviously, I want a top two [finish]. That would be big. But realistically, we never imagined that we will be in this position because we lost Matt [Wright to free agency abroad] and didn’t have Jason [Perkins].”
Robinson said their solid run of late has sort of given them a disadvantage moving forward.
“We lost the element of surprise [because of the winning streak],” Robinson said. “Teams won’t be treating us lightly anymore and it will be an uphill climb.”
Perkins, meanwhile, will be immersed back in slowly after making great progress in recovering from a knee injury.
“His timetable is set for next year, actually,” Robinson said. “He has a cyst [in the knee] and he can play with it.”
NorthPort and NLEX clash in the 5:45 p.m. game, with both not having the luxury of taking another loss as the chase for playoff berths heats up. INQ