NORMAN Black has wrapped up his decorated collegiate career with Ateneo and is ready to move on, but another all-too-familiar Blue vs Green battle awaits him on his return to the PBA.
The multi-titled coach is set to make is debut as Talk 'N Text coach on Wednesday against an Air21 team mentored by Franz Pumaren, who fought many memorable coaching battles with Black during his time as La Salle coach.
Black was supposed to join the Texters on Friday in a game against Globalport, a day after leading Ateneo to its fifth straight championship in the UAAP. But he didn't want to inform the pro league of his Friday return, a requisite, or assume that the Eagles would finish off the UST series on Thursday.
"I haven’t informed the PBA that I was going to take over [on Friday] because I didn’t want to because we didn’t win yet,” said Black.
Besides, he didn't want to jinx the Eagles' quest in Game Two, Black said.
“I was supposed to coach tomorrow but I didn’t want to inform the PBA that I will coach tomorrow because I didn’t like to jinx my chances to win (in Game Two)."
Instead, Black's assistant, Nash Racela, who called the shots during the Texters' overtime win over Meralco on their debut last week, will continue to handle the head-coaching duties on Friday.
“Coach Nash (Racela) will continue to coach tomorrow and then I will coach the following game,” he said. “I will be there [on Friday] but I won’t be coaching."
When he returns on Wednesday, familiar faces await Black beginning with Pumaren, who left La Salle in 2009 and is now back coaching at Air21, where former Archers Renren Ritualo and Simon Atkins as well as Black's former player Nonoy Baclao will be suiting up.
At Talk 'N Text, Black will be joining former Eagles stars Larry Fonacier and Rich Alvarez.
Black said he will be present in Friday's game and sit on the Talk 'N Text bench, but it doesn’t really mean that it's back to work for him.
“No, I’ll be celebrating. Coach Nash will be coaching,” Black said laughing.