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Topex apologizes to Powell after blowup: ‘I had to protect my player’

Bay Area’s Myles Powell and Phoenix head coach Topex Robinson downplayed the testy exchange the two were embroiled in late in the third quarter of their matchup Saturday.

Tension escalated with about 26 seconds late in the third period, when Robinson had to be held back by officials and his players after trying to charge at Powell during a dead-ball situation.

Even PBA deputy commissioner Eric Castro had to step in and pacify the usually calm Robinson, who along with Powell was slapped with a technical foul for the incident.

Powell and Robinson, though, appear to have patched things up after the buzzer as the two were seen hugging it out following a 101-91 win by Bay Area, the guest team’s third in as many games.

Robinson said it all rooted in a prior exchange between Powell and Phoenix guard Encho Serrano, who was also called a technical foul for taunting after sticking his tongue out at the Dragons star minutes earlier.

“What I didn’t like was the reaction of Encho kasi tinaunt niya talaga eh. He stuck out his tongue. That’s why I told Encho, that’s not the right way to do it. You have to play hard. Play physical, but don’t play dirty,” shared Robinson.

“After that, he (Powell) was looking at the bench,” he continued.

“What I didn’t like lang was inaano mo yung player, wala na sa loob eh. I just told him to stop doing it.”

While Robinson certainly wasn’t pleased with his player’s actions, he said his standoff with Powell was just him standing up for his own wards.

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“I’m not saying na tama yung ginawa ni Encho kasi pinagalitan ko nga siya,” explained Robinson. “I just felt that I had to protect my player. Dumating sa point lang naman na he’s taunting.

“But I have nothing against Myles. I apologized to him after. He’s really a great guy. Just felt that time that I need to protect my players. After the game, I apologized to him,” added the 47-year-old mentor.

Powell, for his part, said it was simply a case of two guys “wanting to win, being competitors.”

2022-PBA-Commissioners-Cup-Phoenix-vs-Bay-Area-Myles-Powell Topex apologizes to Powell after blowup: 'I had to protect my player' Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

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“He came up to me and I apologized, I apologized back to him,” said Powell, who dropped 32 big points along with nine rebounds in the win. “There are no hard feelings. Like I said, everyone out there, they just want to win. That’s what we’re out here for.

“Everyone’s chasing a championship, and sometimes that’s just what happens. Sometimes your feelings get the best of you,” he continued.

This isn’t the first time that Bay Area was involved in a heated exchange with a PBA team. Just last week, head coach Brian Goorjian was also involved in a confrontation with NorthPort head coach Pido Jarencio with under a minute left in the first half of the match that the Dragons eventually won via a Powell buzzer beater.

“We played nine preseason games and three games here. There have been heated exchanges in everyone but one. There’s a lot of emotion, a lot of energy towards this international team,” said Goorjian.

“And again, as he said, we shake hands and respect afterwards. When everybody’s trying to win, it’s become part of the game for us,”

Goorjian admitted that Bay Area is still learning how to navigate around a hostile environment, but he did say it’s something his squad has gotten better at as the games have passed.

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“I think, as Myles said, it’s us depending on each other when there’s an exchange, huddling up, and playing together and not getting involved in it. Again, it is emotional, it’s easy to say when you’re sitting here,” said the current Australia men’s basketball team head coach.

“Things happen on the court, and it’s hard to control, but I think for us now, it’s me using my timeouts properly, trying to see it coming, and when they’re on the floor, pulling together and huddling up when there’s a dead-ball or a timeout. But it’s something we’re addressing and it’s something we’re getting better at,” he continued.

Robinson, meanwhile, remained complimentary of Bay Area and charged the entire experience to playing against a better basketball team.

“It’s part of the moment. At the end of the day, it’s basketball. We lost to a better team. We have to give credit to them. They really are playing well, they are really making us better,” the Fuel Masters head coach remarked.

“They’re really a great team. We learned a lot from them. It’s going to make us better.”

Written By

Amateur stats and film enthusiast. Let’s talk hoops on Twitter (@erosvillanueva_)

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