Topex earns praise from Coach of the Bubble Tim Cone

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel coach Tim Cone took time to pay tribute to one of his colleagues shortly after receiving the Outstanding Coach of the Bubble during the PBA Press Corps Awards Night held Sunday, March 7, 2021.

Cone hailed Phoenix Super LPG mentor Topex Robinson for the way he handled his team during the two-month PBA Philippine Cup bubble held in Pampanga which saw the Fuel Masters falling one win shy of facing Ginebra in the Finals.

“He did a tremendous job in the bubble coaching and I just want to acknowledge him and share it to him,” Cone said in his acceptance speech that cap off the virtual awards ceremony held at the TV5 studios in Mandaluyong City.

Robinson was handed the responsibility of calling the shots for Phoenix after management decided to part ways with Louie Alas about a month before the PBA restart.

The ex-PBA cager was able to lead Fuel Masters to perhaps their best campaign ever, with Matthew Wright emerging as one of the league’s top players and Calvin Abueva playing superb following his return from an indefinite suspension that lasted 16 months.

Jason Perkins and Justin Chua, who was awarded by the Press Corps as its Top D-Fender, also had impressive showings in the bubble as Phoenix came close to reaching the title series.

Phoenix had a 2-1 lead over TNT in the best-of-five semis, only to lose the next two games.

“Topex did a tremendous job with his team as well, and so Topex this one is for you as well,” Cone said during the latter part of his speech.

Cone got the nod of the scribes covering the beat for guiding Ginebra to its first Philippine Cup title since 2007. It also gave the PBA’s winningest coach his 23rd championship.

He shared the spotlight with San Miguel Beer’s Leo Austria, who finally got the Baby Dalupan Coach of the Year plum for guiding the Beermen to a near Grand Slam in 2019.

The Press Corps failed to stage its annual ceremonies last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.