Ateneo ‘5-peat’ bid last for PBA-bound Norman Black
MANILA, Philippines—Ateneo announced Saturday that Norman Black will be coaching the Blue Eagles for the last time this season to pave the way for the multi-champion mentor’s return to the PBA as Talk ‘N Text head coach.
“[Black] has indicated his desire to return to the PBA where he hopes to replicate his successful system,” Ateneo president Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, SJ said in a statement released to the university community yesterday. “Having been at the PBA before, he is in a way coming full circle with this move.”
The Ateneo statement confirms an exclusive report by the Inquirer in October last year that a coaching rigodon would be set off among the teams bankrolled by business tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan.
Talk ‘N Text is expected to make an official announcement soon regarding the coaching situation.
The multititled Chot Reyes, whom Black is expected to replace, is the leading candidate as coach of the Smart Gilas national team.
But Black, who steered the Blue Eagles to four straight UAAP basketball crowns, will still serve as the school’s coaching consultant until the 2014 season.
Ateneo already formed a search committee for a new coach with Edward Go serving as chair and university athletics director Ricky Palou as an adviser.
“I have tasked the search committee to ensure that the search process be thorough, impartial, and extensive,” said Villarin. “The committee will submit a shortlist of three candidates to me, out of which I will make the final choice.”
Other members of the search committee are Ricky Vargas, Fr. Nemesio Que SJ, Jack Huang, Joey Campos and Debbie Tan as secretary.
“We will not let our guard down and we will even work harder for that historic five-peat,” said Villarin.
Black, already a champion PBA mentor with a grand slam under his belt for San Miguel when he joined Ateneo in 2005, holds a remarkable 95-25 win-loss record with the Blue Eagles.
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