UAAP: Evan Nelle attributes strong La Salle bond to Topex Robinson | Inquirer Sports

UAAP: Evan Nelle attributes strong La Salle bond to Topex Robinson

/ 07:12 PM October 01, 2023

Topex Robinson La Salle UAAP Season 86

La Salle coach Topex Robinson.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — More than his basketball knowledge, La Salle coach Topex Robinson was also credited by his players for bringing the team closer.

Although they stressed that they still have a lot to improve, the Green Archers had an impressive debut under Robinson following an 87-76 victory over the Far Eastern University Tamaraws on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.


Point guard Evan Nelle said much of the praise goes to Robinson, who was able to forge a strong bond between him and his wards.


“It started on Day 1 when coach came around January. He got the feel for everybody, we got to know our roles, we trusted everybody and we bonded closely. We had a lot of bonding, trips abroad, preseason games, that molded our team to what we are now,” said Nelle, who had 15 points, 12 assists, and eight rebounds.

“But as I say, this is just game one, it’s a long season. But we’re happy where we are, but we’re not contented.”

“It’s a carefree environment, we love each other, we have each other’s backs and I don’t think anybody from the outside can destroy this. So, this is why I came back,” he added.

Evan Nelle La Salle UAAP

Evan Nelle.–MARLO CUETO/

Robinson relished his first UAAP game as he was pleased with how the Green Archers played together.

“It’s exciting. It’s so nice to see these guys, to see the fans, cheer for us. I mean, we’re just so grateful to have a group of supporters that really will love you and will hate you at the same time, and that’s part of it,” said Robinson after a winning debut.

“The pressure is always gonna be a privilege and I’m just grateful that I know to get to have that kind of experience that the rest of the coaches that came before me you know, had also experienced.”


Despite the impressive win, the former PBA veteran-turned-coach admitted that they still need to grow in the long season.

“If you’re gonna look at this, there’s a lot of room for improvement, but that’s where rule no. 1 for us comes in which is you always use your best judgment. You know, given these guys are talented, we just have to give them the floor. Trust them that they’re gonna make the right decisions. Also, what goes with that is the wrong decisions but that’s part of our growth, you know, we learn from our mistakes, we try to get better every day,” Robinson said.

“Just a reminder to everyone that this is a humbling experience for us and we always have to make sure that if you want to go farther, you wanna grow together so this is part of our journey together.”

Robinson will coach in his first Ateneo-La Salle showdown when the two fierce rivals meet for the first time this season on Wednesday.

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“It’s all about us. You know, we and ours. We know who we’re gonna play up against but we just focus on what we have and that’s us,” he said.  “There’s a lot of hype, a lot of stories behind this but at the end of the day, Ateneo’s a worthy rival. That will never change. Coach Tab is a worthy rival, we’ll always compete against each other and again, it’s just an opportunity for me to get better also learning from Coach Tab and Ateneo. But one thing’s for sure, it’s gonna be an exciting game that we’re gonna play and I’m just excited to be a part of it.”

TAGS: De La Salle Green Archers, Evan Nelle, Topex Robinson, UAAP Season 86

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