Norman Black downplays 'payback' win over rival Tim Cone
Norman Black said Meralco's win over Purefoods was not payback time for him against rival Tim Cone. Jaime Campos

NORMAN Black got a measure of revenge against rival Tim Cone after Meralco ousted deposed champion Purefoods in the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs.

Still, the head coach of the Bolts doesn’t want to see things that way.

“I’ve been coaching for 28 years and I can only tell you the coaches that I’ve beaten over the years. But I really don’t take it personal,” Black said during the postgame press conference that preceded the team’s 77-65 win over the Hotshots.

Black and the Bolts ended the Hotshots’ bid for a fifth straight championship following the 12-pointwin that allowed the team to advance in the next round of the playoffs.

Just last year, Talk `N Text under Black, lost to San Mig Coffee in the finals of the Commissioner’s Cup en route to the Mixers winning their third straight title.

Cone went on to win a second Grand Slam title after the Mixers completed a sweep of all three conferences.

Black, who also won a Grand Slam in 1989, downplayed the revenge angle, acknowledging Cone and the Mixers really deserved the Grand Slam crown.

“They were the better team last year. That’s the reason they won the Grand Slam. They didn’t just eliminated me, but they eliminated everybody because they won all the championships,” said Black.

“But nothing personal against Tim. I’ve beaten him over the years but not recently.”

Instead, Black heaped praises for his players. Although not as talented as the Talk ‘N Text team he previously handled, the Meralco coach said the team worked hard to earn another trip to the next round of the playoffs.

“This is a new year, new team. Obviously, Talk ‘N Text is a much more talented team than I have right now but they played with a lot of guts and gutted their way to victory,” said Black.

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