MANILA, Philippines – Norman Black may not be physically present when his Talk N’ Text battles Meralco on Friday, but his players will certainly feel his presence through his plays.
Black, who replaced Chot Reyes at the helm, won’t be at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday as he prepares the Ateneo Blue Eagles for the UAAP Finals.
According to PBA.ph, assistant coach Nash Racela will be manning Black’s post for the Texters.
“There’s no problem because Norman supervises the practices. We’ll just have to implement our game plan,” said Racela.
If Ateneo’s Finals series against the UST Growling Tigers ends in two games, Black will be able to join Talk N’ Text against Global Port next week.
Talk N’ Text is the defending champion in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Leading the Texters against Meralco is former Most Valuable Player Jimmy Alapag. Others expected to carry the load for TNT are Kelly Williams, Ranidel de Ocampo, Jayson Castro, Jared Dillinger, Harvey Carey and veteran Ali Peek.
Japeth Aguilar, however, won't be around after the 6-foot-8 former Ateneo stalwart decided to try his luck with several NBA teams.
Meralco, on the other hand, will be playing minus Asi Taulava who signed up with San Miguel in the ASEAN Basketball League .
The Bolts are expected to lean on Jay-R Reyes, Reynel Hugnatan, Carlo Sharma, Mark Cardona, Solomon Mercado and Ronjay Buenafe.
Again calling the shots for Meralco is coach Ryan Gregorio.