By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Coach Norman Black will be making his highly-anticipated return to the collegiate scene after the San Beda Red Lions basketball program acquired him as their newest consultant effective this NCAA season.
The decision came after the decorated tactician will no longer call the shots for the Meralco Bolts in the PBA after the franchise also named him as their consultant.
Meralco’s latest move then elevated coach Luigi Trillo as their new chief mentor, replacing the role Black assumed for almost a decade.
Yuri Escueta, San Beda’s new head coach, also played a crucial role in recruiting Black after playing for him as a guard when he was still a student-athlete with the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles.
Escueta also worked hand-in-hand with his former coach at the Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team when they played in the Manama bubble under the tutelage of Tab Baldwin.
With the vast experience and coaching expertise that Black can bring to the table, Escueta believes that this will take the Red Lions program to a whole new level.
Aside from him being a consultant, San Beda team manager Jude Roque also revealed that Black will be helping their frontcourt hone their skills even more.
“Coach Norman brings a wealth of championship experience and basketball wisdom to our team. Moreover, he can contribute to the training of our bigs,” said Roque.
San Beda has set its goal high entering the NCAA season after undergoing a championship drought for five years now since winning their last trophy in 2018.
After their reign, the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, their main rivals in the NCAA, started to build its dynasty and won the 2019-2020, 2022-2023 chips.