AS an import, Norman Black was at the losing end of two epic Crispa winning streaks in the eighties that stand out to this day.
Now that Black has a shot at breaking those records, the last thing he wants is to be consumed by it.
With his Talk 'N Text team on a 13-game win streak in the PBA Commissioner's Cup, the multi-titled coach said his focus is not on an unprecedented sweep of the conference but on winning the best-of-five championship series against San Mig.
In fact, Black has time and again shunned comparisons with the Crispa team that finished 20-1 and came within a win of a sweep of the 1980 First Conference - or the Tommy Manotoc-coached Crispa team that won a league-record 21 successive games in 1983.
“I don’t think you can really say that (Crispa) comparison until you win the championship,” Black said during the pre-Finals press conference on Thursday at the Sambokojin in Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City.
“We have done well so far, we’ve been focused, my players have been healthy, we’ve been working very hard in practice, but going 13-0 is just that. Until you win a championship, it’s just that,” added the Talk ‘N Text mentor, one of only two active grand slam coaches in the PBA today.
Talk ‘N Text has been stellar all conference long, finishing the single-round eliminations with a spotless 9-0 win-loss record en route to earning the top seeding in the playoffs.
The Tropang Texters then ousted Barangay Ginebra in the quarterfinals before sweeping the injury-hit Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 3-0 in the semifinals to reach the PBA Finals for just the second time over the last five conferences.
At 13-0, Talk ‘N Text is just three wins away from achieving what no PBA team has done in the pro league’s 39-year history - that of winning a championship undefeated.
But Black said talks of a sweep could easily keep the team’s eyes away from the bigger goal, which is to win the championship.
That's his biggest concern.
“The hunger (to win a title) is obvious, but the things we need to focus on is focus. That has been there since the beginning of the conference,” said the 56-year-old Black.