Norman Black going for Ateneo ‘five-peat’ | Inquirer Sports
In Huddle

Norman Black going for Ateneo ‘five-peat’

/ 10:52 PM January 31, 2012

When I got word Tuesday that Norman Black was still going to be head coach of the Ateneo Blue Eagles this coming UAAP season, I immediately concluded that the projected shuffling of coaches among the Manny V. Pangilinan-owned teams was again aborted.
That’s because an unimpeachable insider, who had informed me about the forthcoming revamp, said that this movement would depend largely on finding a replacement for the man who gave the Blue Eagles not only a rare “four-peat” in the UAAP, but several other championships in his six years with Ateneo.
With this kind of achievement, my source said MVP thought Norman deserved a promotion—it was time for him to move up.
* * *
Actually, Norman should have been sitting on the Talk ‘N Text bench starting this 37th PBA season, if only the Ateneo alumni did not violently contest his departure, and the incumbent Talk ‘N Text coach did not ask for an extension.
Chot Reyes had asked MVP for an executive position and it was granted. My source said he has been appointed executive director of the Manny V. Pangilinan Sports Foundation last year and bringing Kobe Bryant and some of the biggest NBA stars to the Philippines was his first project.
While Chot believed that he could simultaneously handle both the executive position and the TNT head coaching post, his bosses felt that he had to make a choice because being executive director of the MVP Sports Foundation is a full-time job.
Finally, the two parties came to an agreement. Chot could hold both the executive position and the head coaching job at Smart Gilas, which was not as demanding and pressure-packed as that of TNT.
From what I was told, he probably would not have minded if he was allowed to trade places with Norman.
* * *
“So you see, the revamp is going to happen after all, with only a slight adjustment in timetable. The alumni is pleading for a ‘five-peat’ from Norman, which technically could be accomplished by another coach. But they have pleaded for Norman to stay on for another season. Meanwhile, a search committee has been formed by the Ateneo alumni in an effort to find a suitable replacement for the ex-PBA import and PBA head coach,” explained the insider.
By the PBA’s 38th season, Norman should be sitting on the TNT bench with his coaching entourage at Ateneo, while Chot prepares the Smart Gilas team for its next major international assignment.
So far, only Olsen Racela and two other foreign candidates are being seriously considered to fill Norman’s shoes.
* * *
PBA habitués were surprised to see former Smart Gilas coach Rajko Toroman seated at the Powerade side during the recent championship series between the Tigers and the Tropang Texters. Colleagues who saw him didn’t say if he was also cheering for the opposite camp.
Word has it that Toroman’s former employers were trying to look for another position for him in appreciation for the service he has rendered.
But Rajko kept accepting lunch invitations left and right and the MVP camp, by this time, may have thought of withdrawing its offer, whatever that may be.
He was seen lunching with Powerade governor JB Baylon last Friday and dining with San Miguel’s Noli Eala on the evening of the same day.

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TAGS: Ateneo Blue Eagles, Chot Reyes, JB Baylon, MVP, Norman Black, PBA, Powerade Tigers, Rajko Toroman, Smart Gilas, Sports, Talk N Text Tropang Texters, UAAP

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