NORMAN Black has his hands full right now helping Gilas Pilipinas prepare for the Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship and at the same time priming up Talk `N Text for the coming PBA Governors Cup.
The multi-titled mentor admitted that save for a weeklong break shortly after the Tropang Texters were eliminated by Barangay Ginebra in the Commissioner’s Cup semifinals, it has been all work for him as he helps out national coach Chot Reyes run his daily practice at the Mall of Asia Arena.
But Black made it clear he doesn’t mind the additional workload.
Black said he understands the magnitude of what the nationals are doing since the Fiba-Asia cage event offers the country the rare opportunity to make it back to the Fiba World Championships with a top three finish.
“It’s been a lot of sacrifice for the country. We all understand that. So right now, I’m helping coach Chot prepare the team for Fiba-Asia,” Black told Spin.ph on Wednesday.
The 55-year-old Black is in charge of Gilas Pilipinas’ defensive patterns, especially since the nationals will be going up against bigger and talented Asian teams.
Yet at the same time, Black is also making sure the Tropang Texters will be ready for the season-ending Governors Cup that kicks off August 14.
Black maintained the Tropang Texters’ choice for import remains Tony Mitchell, who came in as late replacement for the seven-foot Jerome Jordan during the Commissioner’s Cup semifinals against the Kings.
The 6-foot-5 Mitchell gave a good account of himself during his three-game stint, averaging 38.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 38.67 minutes.
Black said the Tropang Texters have been hitting the weight room during the offseason and would be ready to return to practice by Monday at the Moro Lorenzo gym.
Black returned back to PBA coaching via Talk 'N Text at the start of the season shortly after steering the Ateneo Blue Eagles to a fifth straight UAAP men’s basketball title.
Months later, he guided the Tropang Texters to the Philippine Cup championship behind a 4-0 sweep of Rain or Shine in the Finals.