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Botched San Miguel stint fires up NLEX import Robinson, says Road Warriors coach

MANILA, Philippines – Thomas Robinson’s botched stint as San Miguel import may have led to the now NLEX reinforcement’s monster game interestingly in the Road Warriors 117-113 overtime win over the Beermen in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Wednesday.

This was the thought shared by NLEX head coach Frankie Lim in reaction to Robinson’s 42-point, 20-rebound performance.

Robinson, who also had five assists and shot 14 of his 29 from the field, was supposed to be San Miguel’s import for the 2022 Commissioner’s Cup, but a back injury put the plan to halt.

In the offseason, NLEX tapped the former No. 5 overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft as their reinforcement for this year’s Commissioner’s Cup.

“[Robinson] played his heart out. We saw how he didn’t want to lose this game,” Lim said.

He was the driving force behind the Road Warriors’ 19-point comeback, making timely shots along with teammate Kris Rosales.

“He just wants to, maybe, show them [the Beermen] committed a mistake by not letting him play. That was the motivation, I think, for him,” the coach added.

“He made good shots. He drove to the basket which we told him to do, to attack June Mar [Fajardo]. Sometimes it was successful, sometimes it is not.”

NLEX thus went on to notch its first win of the new conference. The Road Warriors earlier dropped their season opener against Phoenix.

There were some instances during the game that Robinson was complaining to the referees.

He also had a moment with San Miguel head coach Jorge Gallent at the height of the game.

For his part, Rosales said that they were able to use the heightened emotions of Robinson and everyone to their advantage.

“You know, after being with Thomas for about a month now, we know how he is as a person. You have to take it as it is, and adjust to him a little bit,” he said.

“[We] talk to him where you can and flip that emotion and use it in the game which I think we did, as a unit,” he added.

The Road Warriors will try to win their second straight game this Saturday against Terrafirma at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

San Miguel, meanwhile, will attempt to barge into the win column against Meralco on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.