MERALCO coach Norman Black is thankful to his coaching staff led by Luigi Trillo for leading the Bolts to a semifinal appearance and keeping the team in a position to win the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup title.
Black stayed in the US for almost a month to be by his ailing mother's side until her death then took care of some personal business. But the multi-titled coach continued to do his work as head coach from afar.
While he was away, top deputy Trillo led a run of six win in nine games capped by a quarterfinal series victory against archrival Barangay Ginebra.
“I thanked Luigi Trillo and the coaches over and over again for holding the fort while I was gone,” said Black after Meralco beat San Miguel, 99-88, upon his return to tie their best-of-seven series to 1-all.
Black said it was a difficult time for him and his family.
“I actually witnessed my mother pass while I was at home,” said Black as he held back his emotions during the postgame press conference.
Still, Black said he continued to watch the games of Meralco as early as three in the morning US time. Black said he was happy with how the team progressed while he was miles away.
“I watched all of them,” said Black, when asked if he watched the Bolts’ matches. “Three o clock in the morning, 5 o clock in the morning. I watched every game.”
“The team, they stuck together, the players played together. The coaches worked together and try to come up with the game plans to be in this situation where we still have a chance to move forward.
"I’m very thankful to the entire team particularly the management because they allowed me to go home for probably a month.”
Now that he is back, Black said he is still in an adjustment period.
“I just arrived about 12 midnight yesterday. I had to adjust very quickly to what’s going on right now. I took a look at the game they played last game and I tried to make adjustments going into this game. I’ll do the same moving forward,” said Black.
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