MANILA, Philippines – Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) head coach Topex Robinson was all smiles at the end of the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft, which saw two members of his team drafted in the first round.
Robinson, who is also the first assistant to Louie Alas in Phoenix, expressed his pride for CJ Perez and Jesper Ayaay, who went first and ninth respectively.
"Again, it's such a blessing for LPU and obviously for CJ and his family," said Robinson, who has steered the Pirates to back-to-back finals appearances in the NCAA.
"I'm also happy for Ayaay, being a first-rounder. I'm so happy for them," he added.
Perez's selection as the No. 1 pick by Columbian Dyip was of little surprise, as the franchise had anointed him as their choice a couple of weeks ago.
While Ayaay going to Alaska with the ninth pick was not as expected, head coach Alex Compton believes they got a promising prospect in the former Lyceum captain.
"He's a really tough kid and I think he's an overachiever, a winner, and a leader. He was coached by coach Topex who runs the same system to us," Compton said of Ayaay. "I think the transition for MJ will be a fairly smooth one."
For Robinson, the selection of Perez and Ayaay in the first round of the rookie draft can only further elevate the Lyceum basketball program, which has consistently improved over the past couple of years.
"It's one of the things that this LPU program is all about. We wanna help players fulfill their dreams. It's just so fitting for us," said the coach.
"It's a testament of things to come for us, and I hope also that players also from other schools or even provinces, try to look at LPU and see what our program is all about," Robinson added.
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