Ateneo and LPU’s similarities start with their coaches

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 02, 2017 02:58 PM
Ateneo and LPU’s similarities start with their coaches
THE WAY. Topex Robinson and Tab Baldwin's coaching philosophies cover matters both on and off the court.

Lyceum of the Philippines University is in its first-ever NCAA Finals.

And they have gone there in the most impressive way possible – by cleanly sweeping the elimination round, including two convincing victories versus defending champion San Beda College.

Meanwhile, in the UAAP, Ateneo de Manla University is three wins away from doing the very same thing.

With firsthand insight at how hard it is to do just that, Blue Eagles’ mentor Tab Baldwin has nothing but good words for Pirates’ head coach Topex Robinson. “I would like to have a deeper relationship with him because he’s an outstanding coach and he’s done a great job with that team,” he said.

Interestingly, Baldwin, a coach who preaches systemic discipline, is impressed with LPU’s run-and-gun game under Robinson. As he put it, “(They play) a style of basketball that we struggle with sometimes. (They play) that high intensity pressure and I think there’s a lot that I can learn from him.”

More than whatever happens on-court, however, the American-Kiwi is a fan of the off-court development the Filipino has espoused. “I have a huge amount of respect for him and what he achieved and the way he does it. You know, he really emphasizes character in his players and he wants them to be good people and he believes that basketball is a vehicle to improving your life,” he shared.

He then continued, “Really, that’s the Ateneo way and that’s what we believe as well. I think we share philosophically, a lot of things.”

Throughout the tournament, the Pirates have preached that they are showcasing their skills to have a positive effect on all who are watching them.

And so, without a doubt, the kids from Katipunan and the boys from Intramuros share more than just their undefeated records.

And just as Baldwin wants a deeper relationship between the two coaches, so does Robinson. “We will continue to improve so that’s why I’m already knocking on coach Tab’s practices just to look at what they’re doing. I wanna learn from him,” he said.

He then continued, “I’m a young coach still, my cup is so empty and I’m still looking for opportunities to grow. Watching Ateneo play is really inspiring me also.”

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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