Robinson keeps cards close to chest

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    ROBINSON

    WHO will Phoenix Super LPG tab with its No. 7 pick overall in the PBA draft?

    As the proceedings near, Fuel Masters coach Topex Robinson would rather keep his cards close to his chest.

    “As of now, our options are still open. We are looking for a complementary player that will fit in with the line-up that we have,” Robinson told Malaya-Business Insight yesterday.

    “So, no particular position, character or talent,” he added.

    Phoenix traded star forward Calvin Abueva last Feb. 17 to Magnolia in exchange for guard Chris Banchero and the Hotshots’ picks in the first two rounds.

    The Fuel Masters pulled off another big move last Feb. 24 by landing Vic Manuel from Alaska and the Aces’ first (7th) and second (18th) round selections.

    Alaska got Brian Heruela as well as Phoenix’s picks at Nos. 6 and 19 overall.

    Those moves, and the draft, should help the Fuel Masters in their bid to win a maiden crown, according to Robinson.

    “Well, so far so good naman ang team, making the most of the small group workouts,” Robinson said. “Vic (Manuel) is slowly but surely getting in shape.”

    Fil-Am Joshua Munzon or Jamie Malonzo, also a Fil-Am, is projected to be the No. 1 pick overall in the draft set on March 14.

    Robinson, who took over from Louie Alas last October, is looking forward to whipping his charges into one cohesive unit.

    “We are all about player development,” he said. “We are excited to see our growth.”

    In last year’s Philippine Cup bubble in Clark, the team welcomed the return of Abueva from a lengthy 16-month suspension and wound up with an 8-3 card for second after the elimination round and ousted Magnolia in the quarterfinals.

    The Fuel Masters advanced to the semifinals but fell short to eventual runners-up TNT in their best-of-5 semis duel that went the distance.

    Manuel and Banchero joined a Phoenix side that already has the likes of gunner Matthew Wright, big men Jason Perkins and Justin Chua, and veterans RJ Jazul, JC Intal, and RR Garcia.

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