Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SPORTS

Black rues aborted naturalization bid

‘I was willing to do it.’

Thirty six years before the emergence of Justin Brownlee, Norman Black was a prime candidate for naturalization that would have given him a chance to play for the national team in major international tournaments.

But a sorry event happened, leaving Black brokenhearted and his dream of playing for the country trapped inside the dustbin of basketball history.

A two-time Best Import, Black was still playing for Magnolia in 1985 when former President Ferdinand Marcos granted Filipino citizenship to basketball stars.

Through the effort of basketball godfather Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, the naturalization process was only applicable to amateur stars that made Jeff Moore and Dennis Still as the first United States-born players to don the national colors in the Asian Basketball Confederation in 1985.

Professional players like Black were only allowed to play in major international events in 1989, paving the way for the PBA to send an all-professional team to the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing and the National Basketball Association to deploy the Dream Team in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Black said he could have joined Moore and Still as naturalized players.

“I was willing to do it,” Black said in a telephone conversation with Daily Tribune on Saturday.

“But Mr. Cojuangco left for the United States together with President Marcos during the EDSA Revolution and the rest was history. Nobody pursued it after that.”

He said becoming a naturalized player would have been very easy.

“It would have been an easier process since I am married to a Filipina.”

The closest Black ever got to be with the national team was in 1990 when he was tapped to serve as one of the assistant coaches of Robert Jaworski in the Asian Games.

By then, he was already a full-time coach and only plays as a replacement import whenever San Miguel Beer brings in a lemon reinforcement.

“I played for the Philippines three times, but these were exhibition games against the Chinese national team,” Black said, recalling his memorable battle with Chinese stars Song Ligang, Shan Tao and Gong Luming.

“The first was in Leyte during the birthday of then First Lady Imelda Marcos; the second was at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium; and the third was at the Philsports Arena along with Mon Fernandez and Sonny Jaworski. We won all those games.”

Black eventually retired as a player and focused on coaching San Miguel, where he won nine of his 11 PBA titles capped by a rare grand slam in 1989.

Black hopes his son, Aaron, can play for the national team someday since he was born in the Philippines to a Filipina mother.

And if that happens, the son will be able to accomplish what the father failed to do 36 years ago.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

SPORTS

Manny Pacquiao knows his time is up. This was the keen observation made by a longtime member of his training team who spent dinner...

ESPORTS

The dynamic duo of Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna and Danerie James “Wise” del Rosario is back with a bang after leading Blacklist International to a...

SPORTS

The University Athletic Association of the Philippines will have a full calendar of sports events for Season 85 starting 1 October. UAAP President Fr....

ESPORTS

ECHO has revealed its roster for the upcoming M4 Mobile Legends World Championship to be held 1-15 January 2023 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The seven...

SPORTS

It’s going to be business as usual as the Philippine Basketball Association will not stop its on-court activities when it gives way for the...

SPORTS

It doesn’t look as if newly-crowned Melvin Jerusalem will get the luxury of defending his minimumweight crown against a handpicked rival after the World...

SPORTS

Mitchell, meanwhile, is a six-foot shooting guard frowm Hartford University.

SPORTS

Legendary boxing referee Carlos ‘Sonny’ Padilla was recently inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame. Famous for serving as the third man in...

Copyright © DAILY TRIBUNE