WITH a handshake and a hug, Norman Black and Pido Jarencio settled whatever differences arose between them in what had been an emotional, well-fought finale.
Black and Jarencio, who had figured in a war of words that made headlines after Ateneo's 83-78 win over Santo Tomas in the series opener on Saturday, shook hands then hugged it out at center court on Thursday at the end of the Eagles' title-clinching 65-62 victory.
“Cinongratulate ko lang siya,” said Jarencio. “Sabi ko, 'Good game, congratulations.' Madali kami magbasa ng utak, alam naman niya kung ano iniisip nya sa akin at kung ano rin ‘yung sinagot niya sa sinabi ko.
"Pare-pareho tayong lalake kausap dito.”
Black said what happened between him and his former player was "unfortunate," but he and Jarencio were more than happy to put the incident behind them.
“Basketball lang ito. Kanya-kanyang [diskarte] lang ito, kung paano ka makakalamang sa pangyayari,” said Jarencio.
Black said: “I was his first coach in the PBA and the events that occurred in the last few days were a little bit unfortunate for the two of us because we never had any problem in the past. It’s just something that goes with the competition."
"Obviously, he is yellow and I’m blue. We are trying to fight it out to win a championship so sometimes, things get out of control,” Black added.
Jarencio later paid tribute to Black for correctly pointing out that the Tigers, more than any other team in the league, were the biggest threat to the Eagles' quest for a fifth successive championship.
“Napakagaling ni coach Norman, siya lang nakakaalam na yung team na ito [Tigers], delikado ito. Wala namang nagsabi na mag-ingat kayo dito. Ako lang naman ang naniniwala sa team,” said Jarencio.
Black said: “I predicted at the start of the year that it’s going to be UST. For those who were at the UAAP press conference, you know that. I know coming into the season that they are a complete team.”