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Star brass, Pingris have vote of confidence on Webb

Star Hotshots' rookie coach Jason Webb. | PBA Images/File Photo
MANILA, Philippines – Star board governor Rene Pardo said there won’t be any quick coaching change despite the team’s swift playoff exit following its overtime defeat to Barangay Ginebra on Christmas Day.
 
Pardo explained that Purefoods president Butch Alejo is well aware of the team’s struggles in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup, saying rookie coach Jason Webb just needs some time to mature as a coach.
 
“I’ve already taken it (Webb’s status) down with Mr. Alejo. It’s really just an adjustment period for coach Jason because he’s a rookie coach,” Pardo told Philstar.com.
 
The amiable Star team executive cited that even former Star coach Tim Cone, who now handles Ginebra, didn’t win a championship immediately when he handled the Purefoods franchise in his first conference in the 2012 season.
 
“Si coach Tim, nung unang conference niya rin naman sa amin, na-eliminate din agad kami. So we told Jason to not be afraid to try. We gave him some leeway because he’s new on the job,” stressed Pardo.
 
Webb inherited a veteran-laden squad from Cone, who, during the offseason, moved over to Barangay Ginebra in a surprised coaching change within the San Miguel Corp.-owned teams.
 
Cone left the Purefoods franchise with five PBA championships during his four-year stint as coach, including the Grand Slam finish the 2014 season.
 
On the other hand, the former television broadcaster-turned-coach veered away from Cone’s time-tested triangle offense, installing a run-and-gun approach instead.
 
Webb’s initial coaching stint ended with a 92-89 overtime loss as the Hotshots put to waste a 17-point advantage early in the fourth period.
 
But Star veteran forward Marc Pingris said Star’s anemic showing in the Philippine Cup shouldn’t be pinned on Webb alone.
 
“As a team, kailangan lang namin talaga mag-adjust. Kailangan din namin tulungan si coach Jason kasi hindi naman niya kaya mag-isa,” said Pingris, who averaged 9.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists in the season-opening conference.
 
The Hotshots, who had two rookies and returning Ian Sangalang to start the season, limped off to an aggregate 4-8 win-loss record in the all-Filipino conference.
 
Pingris admitted getting frustrated with the way the Hotshots performed, even to the point of clashing head on with Webb early in the elimination round.
 
“Yung game namin against Ginebra sa eliminations, nung nanalo kami, nag-away din kami ni coach Jason. Pero nag-sorry na naman ako sa kanya at sa buong team kasi sabi ko nga sa kanila, bad attitude yun on my part at huwag dapat nilang gayahin,” he said.
 
But the Pozzorubio, Pangasinan native said his heated exchange with Webb was simply borne out his desire to win.
 
“Sa game lang din naman talaga yung ganun kasi professional kami at trabaho namin yung manalo. So dala lang talaga ng emosyon yun, pero sa labas, wala na yun,” he added.
 
Star is currently on a two-week break but will resume practice next Monday to prepare early for the Commissioner’s Cup.
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