'Beast' and 'Baby Beast' together in Coach Topex's NCAA First 5

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 03, 2020 04:06 PM
'Beast,' 'Baby Beast' together in Coach Topex's NCAA First 5
Of course, Topex Robinson has to have Calvin Abueva and CJ Perez on his all-time lineup

Topex Robinson has been calling the shots for Lyceum of the Philippines University from 2015 to present.

Before this, the always amiable mentor was at the helm for San Sebastian College-Recoletos from 2011 to 2014.

Through all of that, he has had a hand in the discovery and the development of young talent for his teams as well as the game planning for the opposing rising stars.

Among all of those, who are the best of the best for him? Here is Topex Robinson's NCAA First 5, as he told ABS-CBN Sports:

CJ PEREZ

One phone call - one phone call was all it took for the tides to turn in favor of LPU.

When Perez was looking to leave the nest of Ateneo de Manila University, he called one person and one person only - Coach Topex, who discovered and then developed him back in San Sebastian.

The rest, as they say, is history as in the first year of their reunion, the 6-foot-2 guard was hailed as MVP all while the Pirates sailed to a historic Finals.

CALVIN ABUEVA

"The Beast" continued to be unleashed under the watchful eye of coach Topex.

Already a force under then-coaches Ato Agustin and Turo Valenzona, Abueva stayed Abueva even as he did not replicate his MVP win in Season 87.

And up until now, there is still no end-to-end force quite like one-third of the "Pinatubo Trio."

IAN SANGALANG

Another third of the "Pinatubo Trio," Sangalang had polished post moves from the moment he stepped into the collegiate ranks.

He became an all-around player in his later years in San Sebastian, however, and much of that was thanks to the guidance of Coach Topex.

The 6-foot-7 big man's MVP came in the season that went unfinished by Robinson, but there remains no doubt that the latter had a huge hand in the rise of the latter.

ROBERT BOLICK

LPU was woken up from its dream season in Season 93 by San Beda University - who else but dynastic San Beda University.

In particular, it was Bolick who dashed their dreams, dropping seven of his 24 points in the last two minutes of Game 1 and delivering seven of his 22 markers in the last five minutes of Game 2.

The only thing unfortunate about the Pirates' transformation into a powerhouse was that it just so coincided with the self-proclaimed bench player in De La Salle University's transformation into "Big Shot Bolick."

RAYMOND ALMAZAN

(Photo courtesy of Mark Cristino, ABS-CBN News)

In the early 2010s, San Beda's challenger in the Finals was either San Sebastian or Colegio de San Juan de Letran.

In the same time that Baste was the stage for the "Pinatubo Trio," Letran was home to tantalizing talents such as Kevin Alas, Rey Guevarra, and RJ Jazul.

Among them, though, it was only the 6-foot-8 Almazan who stood out enough to be recognized as MVP - and his two-way impact throughout his collegiate career has most definitely not gone unnoticed by opposing coaches.

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Coach Topex did not go into detail as to why he went with these five players. In general, though, he said that these five are "for a fact, the best that the NCAA has produced in the last 10 years."

Even better, Robinson said that all of Perez, Abueva, Sangalang, Bolick, and Almazan are, at present, keeping at proving his point as stars in the PBA.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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