Coach Black, ginunitang muntik na maging naturalized player

ni Alvin Olivar - @Sports | June 25, 2020

Iilan lang ang nakakaalam na planong gawing naturalized player ng national team si Norman Black noong 1980s kung saan ang Northern Consolidated Cement sa pamumuno ni Danding Cojuangco ang may hawak ng koponan.

Sa panayam ng CPT Crossover podcast ay sinabi ni Black na may plano si Cojuangco na gawin siyang parte ng national team bilang isang naturalized player noong 1980s kung saan makakasama sana niya sina Jeff Moore, Dennis Still, at Chip Engelland.

Ngunit ito ay hindi natuloy matapos umalis ng bansa si Cojuangco dahil sa EDSA Peoples Power Revolution kung saan naalis ang noo’y pangulo na si Ferdinand Marcos.

“One of the plans that Mr. Cojuangco had for me was to become a naturalized player. I had just got married in 1984 and I was eligible to become a permanent resident in the Philippines. The first process was to get me to become a permanent resident. The next step was to try to move it to me possibly becoming a naturalized citizen. The problem with the naturalized citizen part was it takes time. It’s not overnight. Mr. Cojuangco left a few months later,” saad ni Black.

“He actually had plans for me to become a member of the RP Team. This is what he informed me. It didn’t push through because he didn’t remain in the Philippines. But if he had remained in the Philippines, there is a strong possibility I could have and would have played for the RP Team,” dagdag pa ni Black.

Kahit hindi natuloy ang pagiging naturalized player ni Black ay nanatili siya sa bansa kung saan naging parte siya ng 1989 grand slam ng San Miguel Beer. Naging coach din siya ng national team noong 1994 Asian Games.

Sa kasalukuyan ay nasa Meralco Bolts na si Black kung saan siya’y isang coach, ngunit malaki ang naging utang na loob niya kay Cojuangco na tumulong sa kanyang pamamalagi dito sa Pilipinas.

Kamakailan ay sumakabilang buhay ang dating manager ng national team noong 1980s sa edad na 85.

“Always found Mr. Cojuangco to be a great boss. He wasn’t the type that’s going to stay on top of you. In other words, he is not the type that is going to be there on top of you in every move. He is going to give you the responsibility and he is going to evaluate how you handle that responsibility. If you do well, you do well. If you don’t do well, obviously, you have to face the consequences whatever the end result comes in,” ani Black.

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