Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times

Basketball

Black grateful to Trillo, rest of staff for holding Meralco’s fort


Meralco head coach Norman Black only has immense gratitude to his coaching staff and the entire team for holding the fort during his absence,

The champion mentor returned ahead of the Bolts’ Game Two clash with San Miguel in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals, coming back after a month in the States to attend to his mother, who unfortunately passed away.

And his charges made sure to give him the best welcome they could present by getting back at the Beermen, 99-88, to tie the series at 1-1.

“I thank Luigi Trillo and the other coaches over and over again for holding the fort while I was gone,” he said after the match. “I witnessed my mother pass while I was home, so that was a disappointing experience for me.

“But at the same time, the team stuck together. The players played together, the coaches really worked together in trying to come up with gameplans to put us in a situation where we still have a chance to move forward,” he added.

It could be recalled that Black flew back home with Meralco in the midst of a two-game losing skid and were 3-3 in the standings, but his squad made sure that they are still competing in the conference once he goes back.

Bravely taking up the coaching cudgels was Luigi Trillo as first assistant Ronnie Magsanoc wasn’t available early on due to his commitment with Gilas Pilipinas 3×3. And under him, the Bolts were able to turn things around.

They won four of their last five games in the elimination round and clinched the fifth seed entering the quarters, where they defeated rivals Ginebra for the first time ever in a playoff setting through a tight Game Three win.

#ReadMore  Justin Chua laments how Phoenix stint ended but excited for fresh start

Black saw all of that from afar, much to his joy. “I watched all of ’em — 3 o’clock in the morning, 5 o’clock in the morning — ’cause there’s a 12-hour difference. I watched every game,” said the Grand Slam-winning bench tactician.

Now, the MVP ball club is in its third straight Philippine Cup semis, slowly becoming a fixture in the Final Four of the all-Filipino wars.

With that, Black couldn’t be any more thankful to the Bolts. He also expressed appreciation for the team’s top brass for allowing him to fly back home.

“I’m very thankful to the entire team, particularly the management ’cause they allowed me to go home for probably about a month,” he said.

Now, it’s his turn to give back to his team by doing his part for Game Three of the best-of-seven series on Sunday at the Big Dome.

“I had to adjust very quickly to what’s going on right now. I took a look at the game they played last game and tried to make some adjustments going into this game. I’ll do the same thing moving forward,” he said.

“Leo [Austria] and I have a long history dating all the way back to his Adamson days, my Ateneo days. So, I’ll study what he did today and try to combat it going into the next game,” he added.

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


You May Also Like

Basketball

Jayson Castro is out to add more to an already established legacy by winning another PBA title, with TNT headed to the 2022 Philippine...

Basketball

Paul Lee and Magnolia are keeping their heads up even after seeing the end of their 2022 PBA Philippine Cup campaign on Sunday night....

Basketball

Poy Erram insisted that he meant no harm following his inadvertent hit on Ian Sangalang that ultimately led to his ejection from Game Six...

2023 FIBA World Cup

The inevitable has happened for Gilas, TNT, and Chot Reyes on Sunday evening. After a masterful 87-74 Game Six win over the Magnolia Hotshots,...

Basketball

Meralco head coach Norman Black did not hide how proud he is of Aaron and the way he’s grown following his son’s defining moment...

Basketball

Jayson Castro came through with a vintage performance as TNT continued its mastery over Magnolia, 87-74, to book a return trip to the PBA...

Basketball

It could’ve been a different story. CJ Perez lamented missing a crucial free throw in the dying moments of San Miguel’s Game Six clash...

Basketball

Aaron Black took over down the stretch and towed Meralco to a come-from-behind 96-92 win over San Miguel to force a Game Seven in...

Advertisement