MANILA -- De La Salle University successfully swept the elimination games in Group 2 of the FilOil EcoOil 16th Preseason Cup after defeating St. Clare College, 83-74, but the latest win didn't come easy for the Green Archers.
Amidst a nip-and-tuck battle in the second half, Green Archers' mentor Topex Robinson got ejected from the game after being hit with his second technical foul.
The former Lyceum head coach then said that his actions were a result of him wanting the game to be played in the right manner, and that is to be executed and maintained both by the players and game officials.
"The reason we joined this league is to give our players an opportunity na maturuan natin sila. It's my fault that I went overboard, but what I'm trying to tell them is we're teaching these players to play the right way. If I see that the referees aren't seeing what I'm seeing - obviously they have their own thing and hindi ako referee - but I'm gonna protect these guys," explained the first-year La Salle coach.
Already hit with a technical foul in the first half, Robinson got his second after he entered the court asking for an offensive foul to be called on St. Clare's Richard Victoriano who was fending off Penny Estacio with an armbar at the 3:11 mark of the third frame.
"Kung ma-thrown out ako, I don't really care kasi we're teaching them eh [his players]. Again, I'm sorry if it went overboard, but you have to go way beyond what is necessary just to send a message to them," the former Phoenix Fuel Masters head coach added.
"I'll never take it against them. That's their job, I'll do my job as a coach, but I will always protect my players."
Robinson then credited his coaching staff who made sure that they still got the win even after his ejection.
"Obviously you have coach Caloy (Garcia), coach Gian (Nazario), coach JB (Sison)those are head coaches in their own way. So why would I worry if I have those coaches behind me? They really led the way, kaya nga I'm not afraid to really get thrown out because I know they'll be there to lead these players," he said.
The Green Archers will be waiting for the next opponent as the Group stages conclude in the following days. They are next set to compete in the quarterfinal stage of the tournament on June 16.