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    No time to celebrate as tireless Black looks ahead to import-laced conference

    Jan 16, 2013

    THE scent of victory and championship celebration will only last a few days for Talk `N Text coach Norman Black.

    After which, it’s back to business for the hottest coach in the country today.

    Black disclosed he’ll only take a brief respite following the Tropang Texters’ momentous title run in the PBA Philippine Cup as a lot of work need to be done immediately for the February 8 opening of the mid-season Commissioner’s Cup.

    The 55-year-old mentor said he’s going to savor the hard-earned championship for the next three to four days before plunging back to work as the team’s import, Keith Benson, is set to arrive here within the week.

    “I think I need to get a break,” said Black when asked about his plans shortly after steering the telecommunication franchise to a historic third straight All-Filipino crown on Wednesday night with a 4-0 sweep of Rain or Shine in the Finals.

    “Maybe three or four days off without doing anything because my import will be here in the next couple of days, so probably I have to start attending to him once he arrives,” added the multi-titled coach, whose team ended the conference with a league-best 21-4 (win-loss) record overall.

    Prior to leading Talk `N Text to the title, Black came fresh from a similar championship celebration for Ateneo’s fifth straight UAAP men’s basketball crown just three months ago.

    Despite being on a roll, Black refused to entertain thoughts of clinching a second PBA Grand Slam, saying it will take a whole new effort to win the next two conferences of the league’s 38th season.

    Continue reading below ↓

    “Let me enjoy this first,” Black said, smiling. “But… you have to win two conferences first before even thinking of winning a Grand Slam."

    “I remember my experience in 1989 (with San Miguel Beer). We didn’t even start thinking about Grand Slam before winning the second conference. Obviously, our success not just depends on our local players but on how good our import is,” explained Black, who first arrived in the PBA as an import for Tefilin.

    The Tropang Texters’ fate in the second conference that features imports of unlimited height depends largely on how well the 6-foot-11 Benson plays.

    A former Oakland University standout, Benson played briefly for Golden State Warriors early last year. He’s expected to provide rebounding and intimidating presence for a team that is already loaded with veteran big men in the frontline.

    “Hopefully, he’ll be pretty good and hardworking and also helps me execute when I want to get it done. But till we see how he plays against other imports, we’re not really sure.

    “In this import conference, the key is the import, who can make us continually competitive.”

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