MANILA, Philippines – For Norman Black, it is just about time that his former longtime deputy Jamike Jarin gets a chance to call the shots in the PBA.
The two coaches added another chapter to their long history as Black’s Meralco hacked out a 92-86 win over Jarin’s Phoenix in their respective teams’ final elimination round games in the Governors’ Cup on Sunday, March 5.
“Being together for about 13 years, maybe? Quite a while. I’m happy for him that he is getting his opportunity to be a head coach in the PBA,” said Black.
The two go a long way back as Jarin served as an assistant to Black in the collegiate and professional ranks.
Jarin aided Black in leading the Ateneo Blue Eagles to the first three titles of their historic five straight championships in the UAAP from 2008 to 2012.
When Black guided TNT to the 2012 Philippine Cup crown, one of his 11 championships as a head coach in the PBA, he also had Jarin by his side.
Also a three-time UAAP juniors champion coach with Ateneo, Jarin went on to win a collegiate title of his own with the San Beda Red Lions in the NCAA in 2016.
Jarin then landed the job as the Fuel Masters’ interim coach following the sudden exit of former Phoenix head coach Topex Robinson.
“He has been successful at just about every level, so that is only fitting that he should get a shot at the PBA,” Black said.
With the two sharing the floor together again, except this time on opposite ends, Jarin put up a gutsy challenge against Black as they engaged in a battle of wits.
Down by as many as 15 points late in the fourth quarter, Jarin and the Fuel Masters stormed back and got within 6 points with 30 seconds left only to witness Black and the Bolts hold on to the victory.
“This was an interesting game, mainly because coach Jamike, he threw everything at us – 1-3-1 to 2-3 to switching zones, man to zone, zone to man, he gave us just about everything we could handle,” Black said.
Black, though, banked on his familiarity of Jarin as Meralco entered the playoffs with a 7-4 record and denied Phoenix, which fell to 4-7, an outright quarterfinal berth.
“I’m sure he does,” said Black when asked if Jarin knows his tendencies. “Just like I knew what he was going to do, all those different defenses. I knew it was coming.” – Rappler.com
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