MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) Norman Black offered to step down from his position as head coach of the Ateneo Blue Eagles after the team's top benefactor, Manny V. Pangilinan, withdrew his support from the school.
In a statement addressed to the Ateneo de Manila University Community, Ateneo president Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, SJ, revealed that Black had informed Pangilinan that he intended to resign.
"Earlier today, Mr. Norman Black told me that in view of recent events, he informed MVP (Pangilinan) of his intention to step down as head coach of the Ateneo Blue Eagles," Villarin said.
Black, however, did not push through with his plan after speaking with Pangilinan.
"MVP, however, asked him to continue coaching the Blue Eagles until the head of the current UAAP season," Villarin said, adding that they were "grateful to MVP for this gesture."
Pangilinan withdrew his support from the Ateneo after clashing with the school over various issues, including mining and the Reproductive Health Bill.
Black was already set to step down as Ateneo head coach after the season, after which he will become the head coach of the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters, which Pangilinan owns.
Black led the Blue Eagles to four straight championships and are contending for their fifth straight after taking the top seed at the end of the UAAP Season 75 elimination round.
Blue Eagles center Greg Slaughter told ABS-CBNnews.com that it was "fulfilling to see the fruition of the work they (Pangilinan and Black) put into the team."
"I know MVP and Coach Norman have dedicated so much of their time and effort into Ateneo over the years," he said.
"I know they want to win a five-peat for Ateneo, and now we're in the home stretch. I know they've got our backs," Slaughter added.
Earlier, former Ateneo president Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, SJ, resigned as independent director of the Pangilinan-led Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.
Pangilinan has said that he will no longer watch the Blue Eagles’ games for the remainder of the season, and will not rule out supporting another UAAP team.