Norman Black made a grand return to the PBA with another championship, his 11th since beginning his coaching stint in the mid 1980s with Magnolia.
Black and Talk ‘N Text did it in a historic fashion since the Manny V. Pangilinan-owned franchise won its third straight PBA Philippine Cup title, a feat that was previously accomplished by the fabled Crispa Redmanizers in 1979, 1980, 1983 and 1984.
While Black enjoyed the victory ride after an 11-year PBA coaching hiatus, the 55-year-old multi-titled mentor deflected the credit to the players, the coaching staff and the management led by Pangilinan and board governor Ricky Vargas.
“Actually this championship means a lot to me mainly because I’ve been away for so long. I’ve been out of the PBA 11 years ago now. I was taken out of Sta. Lucia, but I always want to go back to the PBA,” said Black after his team’s 4-0 sweep of Rain or Shine Wednesday night at the jampacked Big Dome.
“I was just waiting for the right time…Fortunately, to be able to coach a team supported by the management led by our boss Manny Pangilina, Mr. Ricky Vargas, our team manager Aboy Castro and my coaching staff. Our team was not just supported financially but philosophically as well as the planning is concerned,” he added.
Black said he’s also blessed to have a core of dedicated and veteran players who were willing to adjust to his system even though he didn’t have the benefit of walking them through during the offseason.
“When I came back this year, I just came out from the UAAP. I didn’t have the chance to train my players that well before I get to the PBA season. Luckily, for me, the Talk ‘N Text team is not just blessed with good, talented players but they also had good attitude, cooperated and executed.
“And that’s really the key, whatever you come up, as far as game plan, they go out and give it a try,” he added.
Management, coaching staff and players – all these contributed to Talk ‘N Text’s success, but the one glue that kept the team together was this word: TEAM.
Because everyone was thinking of the team rather than individual awards, Talk ‘N Text has now become one of the most dominant squads in the last three seasons, winning a total of five PBA titles.