LYCEUM of the Philippines University (LPU) Pirates head coach Topex Robinson cited young Dabawenyos’ potential in basketball as they conducted a free clinic at the Rancho Palos Verdes Clubhouse in Maa, Davao City Saturday, February 16.
Robinson, in a press conference, said: “There is so much potential in Davao. These kids are inspired to play. It's such an honor and privilege to be here to share and inspire the kids through basketball.”
He said the clinic was limited to only 60 participants so the Pirates, who finished runner-up in the National Collegiate Athletic Association of the Philippines (NCAA) Season 94, could really focus on them.
“We wanted to make sure we bring the best of us that's why limited the number of participants to 60. We're excited with the turnout. We also told the kids that basketball has already been out, wala nang sikreto sa basketball. It's more on the culture we're trying to build,” Robinson said, adding that their basketball program aims to spread the love and knowledge of basketball the Pirates way.
LPU Davao director for administration Joseph Deligero, for his part, said LPU has a wholistic approach in education as it does not only put premium on academics but in sports as well.
“LPU makes sure sports development is an integral part of our programs,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dabawenyo Niño Ibañez said he's thankful for the opportunity to play for the Pirates. He used to play for Holy Child College of Davao for two years before going to Manila where he first landed with the TIP Engineers. Coach Robinson then recruited him to join LPU.
“Nag-improve ko sa LPU labaw na sa attitude. More on maging thinking player, lahi ang sistema. Dapat ready, focus ka (My attitude as a player really improved when I joined LPU. I've become more of a thinking player, their system is different. You must always be ready and focus),” Ibañez told SunStar Davao in an interview.
Former LPU standout CJ Perez, PBA top draft pick now with Columbia Dyip, also joined the basketball clinic.
In the exhibition game, Holy Cross of Davao College Crusaders defeated LPU Pirates, 98-90.
The LPU Davao will open its 2019-2020 academic year in July.