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Black embraces new role

Norman Black has no problem working with Meralco in a new capacity as team consultant. Photo courtesy of PBA Images

Norman Black hopes to bring the same winning formula he had before with TNT to its sister-team Meralco as he takes on a new role as consultant.

The Bolts have made coaching changes with Black taking a different capacity with the club after getting replaced by Luigi Trillo as head coach.

Black, who took the Meralco reins in 2014 from Ryan Gregorio, steered the franchise to four runner-up finishes and semifinal stints in six of the last seven conferences of the Philippine Basketball Association.

Being assigned team consultant isn’t something new for Black as he had a similar role more than a decade ago with TNT under then-head coach Chot Reyes.

He helped Reyes and TNT win three championships since accepting the spot in 2012 following a successful run as coach of Ateneo de Manila University men’s basketball team in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines.

“I have no problem working in this capacity as I had worked with coach Chot before and we had a good run helping him in the coaching staff,” said Black.

The mentor didn’t only help out Reyes at TNT, but he also assisted him with Gilas Pilipinas for several years. He was by Reyes’ side when the country made a return to the world stage after 40 years after defeating South Korea in the semis of the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship in Manila.

In his new role as Meralco consultant, he was assured by Trillo that they will all work in unison, but they have yet to discuss the kind of system that they’ll be using for the coming season.

“We’re more focused on conditioning at this time,” Black said.

But Black is set to leave for the United States to attend to personal matters.

He had to oversee some of the family properties in the US right after his mom passed away a few months back.

“Once I come back, I’ll have an idea of what system we’re going to run,” added Black, who will take a leave of one month.

Meanwhile, Serbian-Kiwi coach Nenad Vucinic, who served previously as consultant will be actively participating in the Meralco coaching staff this time.

Vucinic also coached Gilas Pilipinas, then being mentored by Tab Baldwin, in one of the window tournaments three years ago.

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