Batman has always had a Robin. But once Robin is ready to step out of Batman’s shadow, Bruce Wayne lets that Robin go to become his own person.
That was the gist of the emotional talk Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson had with deputy coach Jeff Perlas and the rest of the Pirates staff, Friday evening.
“‘Yung Batman and Robin namin, ‘yun talaga ‘yung nagbigay sa akin ng confidence. Ever since, Batman and Robin na kami.”
The relationship between Robinson and Perlas has spanned the last eight years.
The two first worked together as skills coaches for Xavier School’s elementary team back in 2012. Two years later, Robinson, who had just left San Sebastian, was looking to build new staff. And he knew who the first soldier he would call for his new battle.
“Ever since naman, even when I was still with NU, he asked me if I’m ready to have a bigger role. Hindi na ko nagdalawang isip nun e. Hindi ko pa nga alam na sa LPU kami pupunta nun e. Ayaw niya sabihin until ma-close ‘yung deal,” quipped Perlas, who was part of the National University staff that won it all back in UAAP Season 77.
“Being his first assistant then, I always made it a point na padaliin ‘yung buhay niya as head coach.”
In their five years together in Lyceum, Robinson and Perlas guided the Pirates to great heights, culminating in back-to-back Finals appearances in Season 93 and 94.
Beyond their working relationship, the two became brothers. Perlas was even the first to know of anything that happens in Robinson’s professional career in both Alaska and Phoenix.
But that Friday evening, when Phoenix sacked Louie Alas and named Robinson as interim head coach, caught everyone by surprise — including Perlas.
“‘Yung lumabas ‘yung statement ng Phoenix, bigla niya kami minessage na mag-meeting kaming coaches around 7 PM through Zoom. Then he explained that he will talk to the bosses of LPU about it,” bared Perlas.
“Lahat kami shocked, very emotional. Sabi ko nga sa kanya, ‘Coach, lahat ng plans mo sa Alaska at Phoenix, alam ko kaagad ‘yun e.’ Pinag-uusapan namin ‘yun e but eto lang talaga ‘yung biglaan talaga. Mixed emotions talaga ‘yung kagabi.”
Robinson, who was also named as the Director of Basketball Operations of the Lyceum System back in 2018, has set a meeting with the Laurels early next week to discuss his future. The PBA currently has a policy that its head coaches cannot moonlight as a coach for any other team.
If everything falls into place, Robinson made a promise to his staff.
“He told the coaches, kaming mga coaches, if ever magkakaroon ng magandang agreement, he will elevate me to the position of head coach.
“Hindi ka makapag-saya e, kasi you don’t know what to expect e. Madaming outside factors. But I told him na I’m just going to be ready whatever happens,” expressed Perlas.
Yes, Perlas won’t just be a Nightwing — he will be Lyceum’s Batman if the stars align. Looking to continue Robinson’s ‘Love, Serve, Care’ mantra, Perlas aims to pay it forward by grooming his own Robin.
“Again, it’s up to the management of LPU on how they will handle the situation. Unless may official statement na… Basta tayo ready lang tayo.”