Perasol on Aaron: ‘Naalala niyang half-Norman Black siya’

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 12, 2015 06:05 PM
Perasol on Aaron: ‘Naalala niyang half-Norman Black siya’
LIVING UP TO THE NAME. Aaron Black is out to prove himself - not only as the son of a Philippine basketball legend, but also as a part of a championship-winning program.

Coming into the UAAP 78 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Ateneo de Manila University knew they needed one major adjustment: make sure the reigning MVP will not be a one-man show by spreading the scoring load.

That need became even more pronounced after the Blue Eagles were soundly defeated to start the season. In that loss, Kiefer Ravena was the lone bright spot especially on offense, accounting for nearly 40 percent of his team’s output.

It came one game too late, but the King Eagle finally found some backup as both his wingman and bench came alive during their 84-60 rout of Adamson University on Saturday at the MOA Arena. Von Pessumal found his stroke for 12 points while the blue bench outpaced their counterparts, 44-20.

While highly-touted first-year players Jerie Pingoy and Matt Nieto finally turned in solid contributions, it was a lesser-known rookie who made the most impact coming off the bench. Aaron Black, son of Philippine basketball legend and PBA head coach Norman, made a good account of himself in his UAAP debut with 11 points, five rebounds, two assists, and one steal in only 16 minutes of action.

The 22-year-old wingman is a product of the Ateneo Juniors program, but was relegated to Team B in his first year in college. He finally made the first team this season, but got no minutes for himself in their first assignment.

Still, Aaron just kept himself ready while also heeding reminders from his father. “I talked with dad halfway around the world last night and he reminded me to be ready. He always does,” the younger Black said.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Norman Black and his Meralco Bolts are currently in training abroad.)

The break finally came with Blue Eagle mentor Bo Perasol searching for impact from someone other than Ravena. “Today was Aaron Black’s chance to prove himself. Buti naalala niyang half-Norman Black siya,” Perasol shared in his post-win interview.

Indeed, Aaron proved himself and made even the reigning MVP proud. “I’m very proud of Aaron for stepping up to the challenge,” Ravena said.

With a successful debut now over and done with, the younger Black said he is even more ready to continue fulfilling his role. “We really built our confidence today. We have to help out the starters because it will be harder for the teams to defend us,” he said.

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