Topex Robinson banking on Phoenix guards to fill void left by Chris Banchero

Published February 15, 2022, 9:07 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Photo from PBA

Phoenix Super LPG coach Topex Robinson is making sure that his guards are making a collective effort to fill up for the loss of Chris Banchero before the recent resumption of the PBA Governors’ Cup.

Despite the big blow of seeing Banchero leave the team to sign with the Meralco Bolts as an unrestricted free agent, the Fuel Masters were able to come away with a 93-92 win over the TNT Tropang Giga to go 4-2 in the restart of their stint in the reinforced tournament.

While it’s a given that Matthew Wright will fill up some of the void left by Banchero’s departure, Robinson would rather want the likes of RJ Jazul, RR Garcia, rookie Aljun Melecio and new signee Billy Ray Robles to have a bigger responsibility in taking the cudgels.

“Chris really was a big part of our team, and we just reminded everyone that CB is a part of it, but not the whole of it,” Robinson said. “So whichever part that we lost from CB, somebody else will fill that spot.”

Jazul had 16 points, five rebounds and two assists off the bench while Robinson felt RR Garcia produced a good showing despite struggling offensively with two points on 1-of-6 shooting in a starting role.

Garcia added four rebounds and three assists while Phoenix remains high on Melecio even playing just three minutes following an impressive stretch in December.

Robles, who starred for Davao Occidental in the MPBL, debuted for the Fuel Masters with two points, three rebounds and two blocks in 13 minutes.

“RJ Jazul played well, RR was also solid. We missed a bit of Aljun because he’s still recovering from that injury, but we have a ton of guards to really help us out, and we got Billy Robles from the free agency,” Robinson said.

“So we’re just trying to fill up that spot, and trying to make sure that’s gonna be a collective effort.”