VIDEO: Ateneo, UST post-game press conference
MANILA, Philippines - When Ateneo de Manila head coach Norman Black faced the media after his team's historic fifth straight title win, he said the victory still hadn't sunken in.
"I don't know when it will," he said. "It's something I'm proud of."
Minutes earlier, the longest tenured coach of Ateneo led his team to its fifth championship after it bested the University of Santo Tomas 65-62. In a post-game press conference, he was flanked by Finals MVP Nico Salva, and the game's leading scorer Kiefer Ravena.
Salva, a senior, and Ravena, a sophomore both agreed that while this was not their first championship, it was the most difficult because of the challenge UST gave them.
"This is the sweetest… There's nothing like leaving your school with a win," said Salva, who plans to join the PBA draft in August.
Black, who is also leaving Ateneo to return to coaching professionally, said he wants to be remembered for "building a foundation for a successful program."
He said during his stay -- which he described as a "blur" -- he and his staff scanned the country to look for players to recruit and have been able to attract talented athletes to play in Ateneo. He also expressed confidence in the future of the basketball program despite his departure and that of key players due to the program's foundation.
Ravena also promised that his team next year would do their best to win another title.
"One thing I can promise is Ateneo will give everything they got to every game... We'll try our best, we'll just have to dig deep," he said.
Meanwhile, UST head coach Pido Jarencio also congratulated Ateneo and despite recent rants against Black in the past days, hailed the latter for his coaching talent.
"Napakagaling talaga ni Coach Norman," he said. "Siya lang nagsabi na delikado kami," he added, referring to the beginning of the season when Black told reporters he thought UST would be a threat.
(Coach Norman is really good. He was the only one who said we were dangerous).
Jarencio said Ateneo's experience certainly helped them win, but was optimistic about UST's future, although he has yet to decide whether he will return next season.
"Ang maganda lang dito, and mga players ko, 2-3 years pa," he said. "Mas lalong titibay yan."
(The good thing is my players still have 2-3 years in them. My team will get stronger).
Watch the full press conferences below:
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- VIDEO: Ateneo, UST post-game press conference