May 18, 2020

Norman Black still feels son Aaron's PBA entry on track

EVEN though Aaron Black has yet to play his first official PBA game, Meralco coach Norman Black has no regrets about his son's decision to turn pro.

For him, this is actually the right time for Aaron to come on board and play with him in the league.

The elder Black was convinced his son was ripe for the pro upon watching his games in the D-League and the MPBL.

"That's what really convinced me that he could move on to the next level," said Black of his son.

"When I watched him in the D-League and I watched him in the MPBL, I felt he was ready for the pros already," added the Meralco coach. "I think there are certain things he does that I think would be very useful."

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The younger Black was picked by the Bolts in last year's draft in the second round at no.18 and signed to a one-year contract.

Unfortunately, the current pandemic put on hold his rookie season as the league decided to shut down its operations indefinitely due to the coronavirus.

But the older Black has no problem with it, stressing he believes Aaron can help Meralco's cause once the league resumes the season.

"I know my success with Chris Newsome and my success this past year with Bong Quinto had shown me the importance of having guys who can do more than one thing. Guys that can score the basketball, who can pass the basketball, who can rebound the basketball, guys that can give you a lot of flexibility because of their versatility, and I think Aaron brings that to the table," said the 11-time champion coach.

In addition to that, he's a push-push guy, he plays better when he has the ball in his hands so that he can push the ball up and down the court," added Black. "He's not gonna be as good in a slowdown game, so hopefully he's going to help us in that area because we have not been able to run very much in the last few years. We're more of a half court team, a slowdown team, and I would like to turn us more into a running team."

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The stints of the 6-foot-1 Aaron in the D-League with AMA Computer, and in the MPBL with Quezon City and Zamboanga helped him a lot to improve his overall game, according to his father.

In the D-League alone, the younger Black averaged a triple-double of 25.2 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 10.3 assists.

"I was happy that he joined the MPBL because let's face it, it's a very physical league, it makes a man of you immediately because they called the games a little bit different there and they allow a lot more contact, so he got really used to having play physical in order to survive in that league," the Bolts mentor said.

"I was happy that he joined the D-League where he actually played very, very well."

Black added his son's decision to forego his final playing year with Ateneo helped him prepare for his pro career.

"I was happy for Aaron that he decided to forego his final year in college because it also gave him a chance to get out and play. And you can't really develop if you don't play," he said.

Aaron also suited up with Mighty Sports that completed an eight-game sweep in winning the 2019 Jones Cup. Although not really a key player, but his son did have 'his moments' during his stint with the team, according to Black.

The Meralco coach also added he won't tell his son to apply for the PBA draft if he was coming off from his final year with the Blue Eagles, where he was part of the team's two championships.

"I know his last year, he went into the season with a pretty serious injury, and I felt that hurt him a great deal as far as his exposure is concerned," he said. "He did not play very much." (RG)