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Topex Robinson after Finals heartbreak: ‘It just lit a fire’

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Humble in victory. Inspired in defeat.

Coming off a dominant 18-game sweep of the elimination round, the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates had been in a league of their own while inspiring people along the way. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to extend their good fortunes to the championship series, as the young Pirates were overwhelmed by the experience of the San Beda Red Lions in the Finals.

And the whole team cannot deny that to still end up as bridesmaids after such a beautiful run was heartbreaking.

“It’s painful and we’ll cry over it,” admitted third-year Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson. “I just felt that I let the team down, the community down. And I really felt sorry for leading this team.

“I just felt bad for my players.”

NCAA 93 Finals G2 LPU vs. SBC - Perez-6321

Shouts and cheers echoed through the halls of the Red Lions’ side of the SMART-Araneta Coliseum. On the other hand, tears were shed and sobs were heard in Lyceum’s side of the court.

Robinson was weeping as the Pirates crumpled to the floor.

But for the Pirates, they all decided that the best way to get over this heartbreak is to start working again. Cry, then grind.

“Tomorrow is day one for Season 94. Our loss today won’t define us as a team, we know we’re gonna get better and I’m excited for what’s ahead of us.

“We’re gonna prepare already. I think we’re gonna join the D-League as a team. It’s something that I’m excited about,” Robinson said.

NCAA 93 Finals G2 LPU vs. SBC - LPU 2nd place-8494

Lyceum had been regarded as the dark horses way before the season started.

With an elimination round sweep that put them on the express lane to the finals, there is no question that expectations were met — exceeded even. It just so happened that in the end, the championship was still not for them. But Robinson is still holding his head up high, knowing that this season is just a sneak peek of a stronger Lyceum basketball program.

“Season 93 is the tip of the iceberg for us. We have so much things to really be grateful for and we just have to continue doing what we’re doing. We have a vision [to inspire] and there’s no metric for that,” the amiable mentor said.

“It just lit a fire that really’s gonna keep this fire burning for us.”

Lyceum’s love affair with Season 93 was a solid one. Although they fell short to experience, eluded by the happy ending they sought, the mostly-intact Pirates vow to be back fiercer and stronger next year but still with the same vision to inspire.

“We’re excited for what’s gonna be, what lies ahead of us. I always tell them it’s just the tip of the iceberg for us. We have so many basketball to play and so many people to inspire.”

The Pirates will take their time to get over this heartbreak but in the process they will work to become better versions of themselves. Safe to say, the journey of the Pirates is far from over.

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Danine is a graduating Broadcast Communication student who writes about basketball and volleyball in between her classes. Initially just a sports fan mostly influenced by her fanatic dad, she eventually realized that she can make a career out of her passion after her amazing internship with Tiebreaker Times

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