While Star rejoiced over the fact that it has ended its 3-game slide to start the conference, rookie coach Jason Webb reminded his players to keep working hard as they try to kickstart a winning streak in the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The Hotshots finally woke up from stupor Wednesday night after blasting the Blackwater Elite, 122-103 behind their red-hot 56-percent shooting in the game.
“I have no doubt in what we do because we were no. 2 or no. 3 in field goal efficiency last conference, so that’s really good,” said Webb, who has come under fire early in the conference for the team’s endgame meltdown in their 1st 3 games.
But ranged against his former mentor Tim Cone and the stacked-up Barangay Ginebra squad this Sunday, Webb is expecting a much, much tougher contest.
“Ginebra is going to be a tough draw,” stressed the 42-year-old former TV basketball analyst-turned-coach. “It’s going to be a good draw in terms of gate receipts, but it is going to be a tough draw for us.”
“It would have been tough if we still have to figure out how to win coming to (the) Ginebra (game), but at least ngayon, we’ve figured it out.”
Star dominated all the major departments against Blackwater, winning the rebounding battle, 48-38, assists (30-18), steals (8-2) and a lopsided bench points advantage (52-27).
But Webb wouldn’t want to see his team live from its past victory.
“We were able to win pretty big and we might think, napakadaling kunin yung lamang na yun,” said Webb.
“But we gotta go back as players and as the coaching staff na ang hirap abutin yung lamang na yun. It has to be done with a lot of hardwork,” added the Star freshman coach.
“We have a saying on our board, ‘Hardwork is the price you pay for success.’ So how much are you willing to pay?”
Star split its 1st 2 games against Cone and the Kings during the Philippine Cup.
The Hotshots got off to a hot start, erecting a 31-point lead in the 1st half before coasting to an 86-78 win over the Kings in the elimination round.
But the Kings had the last laugh in their 2nd encounter with a 92-89 overtime win on Christmas Day to knock off the Hotshots in the Philippine Cup playoffs. – By Richard Dy
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