NORMAN Black has been tasked to scout the opposition and map out defensive patterns for Gilas Pilipinas in its quest for a first ever FIBA-World Basketball Championship berth in more than three decades.
The multi-titled mentor began his involvement with the team after helping out head coach Chot Reyes conduct Gilas Pilipinas’ practice at the San Juan Arena Wednesday.
Black said it would really be of help if he gets inside information on other Asian countries ahead of the Fiba-Asia Men’s Basketball Championship as this would give him enough time to analyze its plays and come up with sound defensive patterns.
“I’m more concerned today about how to defend them (Asian opponents) because that’s my major responsibility. I’m asking coach Chot how to scout these teams so that before going into the game, we don’t go blind,” Black shared when Spin.ph caught up with him shortly after the team practice.
This marks Black's latest involvement in the national team set-up, having served as head coach of the Philippine squad that finished fourth in the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima.
The multi-titled coach also led Sinag Pilipinas to a gold medal in the 2011 Southeast Asian Games and was an assistant to Robert Jaworski in the silver medal-winning national squad in 1990 in Beijing - the first all-pro squad to represent the country in the Asiad.
Black said he felt good to see most of the players in the training pool commit and sacrifice for the national cause, to the point of foregoing their vacations in between conferences.
“I think everybody (Gilas) here will give their best, and quite the fact that you said, I haven’t had a break. I love that little vacation, but this challenge is a little too big to pass up,” Black said.