Black ready for World Cup task

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Veteran mentor Norman Black will accept the head coaching job for Gilas Pilipinas in a heartbeat if given an official offer nearing the second round of the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers in September.

The names of Meralco head coach Black alongside NLEX mentor Yeng Guiao are on top of possible temporary replacements to guide the Philippine men’s national basketball team during the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Board Meeting on Tuesday.

It was due to the one-game suspension of head coach Chot Reyes handed out by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) following the brawl that marred the Asian Qualifiers match between the Philippines and Australia last 2 July at the Philippine Arena.

“When I called upon again to serve the country, I’ll do it,” said the former PBA import turned coach Black in a brief chat with the Daily Tribune.

“I’m always willing to coach the national team. I’m always willing to help out.”

Black served the national team several times in the past, starting with an assistant coaching job to the legendary Sonny Jaworski in the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing, China where the Philippines went home with the silver medal. It remains as the highest finish by the Philippines in the tournament.

“I’ve been with the national team countless times already. So, if they ask me to, I’ll do it,” he added.

After his national team coaching debut in 1990 with Jaworski, Black was tapped to engineer the Nationals during the 1994 Asian Games. He served as team consultant after that.

Black was one of Reyes’ deputies in the Gilas Pilipinas’ 2013 roster which finished with a silver medal in the Fiba Asia Championship to advance to the Fiba World Cup for the first time in 40 years.

He also served as assistant to Tab Baldwin in the 2016 Gilas team that hosted the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament here.

Sporting a 4-2 card to the carryover second round, Gilas Pilipinas resumes its campaign against Iran on 13 September.

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