‘Form RP Team early’ — Black

MULTI-titled coach Norman Black plans to form the RP men’s basketball team for the 2011 Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia as early as possible.

Although he has yet to figure out the composition of the squad out to defend the basketball gold for the eight straight time, Black said it is necessary that the nationals be given enough time to play together and become one cohesive unit prior to the 50th edition of the SEA Games in November next year.

Appearing in the PSA Forum at Shakey’s U.N. Avenue on Tuesday, Black admitted he has already accepted the coaching position offered to him by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).

“The SBP asked me to coach the RP team to the SEA Games and I already said yes,” disclosed Black during the session presented by Outlast Battery, Shakey’s and PAGCOR.

But the American mentor fresh from steering the Ateneo Blue Eagles from a third straight UAAP men’s basketball championship added that as of yesterday, he haven’t discussed yet with the country’s governing body for basketball on how to go about the selection of players that will comprise the team.

“I haven’t talk about it with the SBP until now (yesterday). But we definitely have to go into training early. We have to chose and form the team early. And we have to do whatever is necessary if need be,” stressed the former versatile PBA import and third winningest coach in the history of Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league, including a rare Grandslam in 1989.

The country hasn’t lost the basketball gold in the SEA Games since 1991, successfully defending it in the 2007 edition of the biennial meet in Nakhonratchasima, Thailand behind a team bankrolled by Harbour Centre and which crushed the opposition by a winning margin of 43 points.

Black primarily clinched the coaching post after the Blue Eagles stunned the fancied Far Eastern University Tamaraws in the recent UAAP men’s basketball title series following a two-game sweep of the championship.

A former Detroit Piston, Black said he’ll definitely try to get FEU counterpart Glenn Capacio as part of his coaching staff once his appointment as national coach becomes official.

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