Black to finish job as Ateneo basketball coach-A A +A
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
MANILA -- Multi-titled basketball mentor Norman Black will continue with his mission of nabbing a fifth consecutive UAAP crown for the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles even as chief patron Manny Pangilinan recently cut ties with the Catholic school over disagreements on his business interests.
Like a dutiful soldier, the former PBA import felt he was obligated to quit his stint at Ateneo soon but Pangilinan asked him to stay following a meeting in Hong Kong on Monday.
"We'll finish what we started. Despite his differences with the school, he feels the team shouldn't suffer. I'm quite happy he said that because I also don't want to pull out of my last few games in Ateneo. His heart is still with the team and the players. He'll continue to support the team until the end of the season," Black, Eagles head coach since 2005, said.
The Eagles booked their 14th straight Final Four appearance toting a 12-2 record in the eliminations but Pangilinan had said he will no longer watch the remaining games of his alma mater in the UAAP, arguably the country's most popular collegiate tourney.
After the UAAP season, Black is set to call the shots for Pangilinan-owned Talk 'N Text in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). He will replace Chot Reyes, who returned to his old position as coach of the men's national team.
This arrangement came even before Pangilinan announced his "complete and total disengagement from the Ateneo" last September 21.
"His blanket pull out of support from Ateneo put me in a difficult situation. For nine years, I've been employed by PLDT (Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company). He's been loyal and good to me all these years," he said.
Last week, Pangilinan got fed up with the school's criticism on mining, one of his prized investments. Pangilinan, in turn, slammed the Jesuit-run institution for dipping its hands on politics, particularly on the controversial Reproductive Health bill.
Meantime, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago lauded Pangilinan for publicly supporting the RH bill. "My prayer is that more people would be independent-minded as Manny," she said.
Pangilinan was a secondary sponsor in the senator's 40th wedding anniversary with husband Narciso Santiago Jr. in June 2011. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)