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Norman Black surprised that he breached 700-win mark

Seven hundred one wins and counting for Coach Norman Black. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—There was one fact that went under the radar when Meralco beat Ginebra last week.

The 91-85 Bolts victory on Feb. 13 was Norman Black's 700th win as PBA head coach, becoming only the second to do so interestingly enough against the first to accomplish the feat, Tim Cone.

The said achievement was probably way under the radar for Black that even if he won his 701st game a week later, a 93-88 Meralco victory over Rain or Shine, he was surprised when reporters notified his record during the post-game press conference at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

"I did not know that," Black said. "That's a lot of wins. I had no clue about something like that. [That's the] first I've ever heard it."

But this winning record is also a testament to how long the 64-year-old mentor has been in the Philippine basketball scene.

"You know what it means. It means I've been around for a long time," added Black, who began his coaching career in 1985 while juggling his chores as import for San Miguel.

He first played as Tefilin's foreign reinforcement in 1981 and also had a spell with Alaska in 1986.

Eight years after calling it a playing career, Black, then 41, unretired for one game in 1998, helping Pop Cola as playing coach achieve a third place finish in the Governors' Cup that year.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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