Webb: Star facing different Ginebra team on Christmas
Star handed Barangay Ginebra a beating and foiled its former coach Tim Cone’s debut on the Kings’ throne the first time these two rivals met this season.
But head coach Jason Webb believes the Hotshots won’t be facing the same Ginebra side game when they clash anew on Christmas Day at the start of the 2016 Philippine Cup playoffs.
“I don’t know how long their (Ginebra) winning streak is, three?” Webb asked reporters after being the last man out of the gym following Monday’s two-hour training session. “That’s exactly it. That’s a team that has figured out a way to win.”
“The first time that we met that was a team that was still figuring out how to play together. Now, they’re already on a different level that they’ve already figured out a way to win,” added Webb, whose team beat the Kings, 86-78, last Oct. 25 in a game where the Hotshots led by as high as 31 points.
Ginebra went on to drop two of its next three games to open the season at 1-3. But the Kings have put that slow start behind them and are currently the hottest team in the league entering the postseason with a three-game winning streak.
Star, in contrast, searched for consistency throughout the elimination round and wound up in ninth place with a 4-7 record.
“I think on the first time that we met, people didn’t really have a gauge of the two teams but maybe now, we enter [the playoffs] as the underdog, but we relish that situation,” said Webb.
“It just so happened that we’re the ones matched up with each other. We were hoping that maybe we’ll meet later on, but we’re in the bottom and they’re at the top.”
Webb recognizes the tough challenge that lies ahead with his team needing to win two knockout games to advance into the next phase, but he also knows the task isn’t as insurmountable as it may seem.
“Odds are stacked against us, but at the same time, if odds are stacked against us maybe if there would be any pressure, it’s not on us,” he said.
“I hope that we put it together. We haven’t had a winning streak and if there’s a time for that to happen, it’s now. We haven’t had back-to-back wins and hopefully, by now, we’ve learned how to handle those little successes that we have and try to get things going.”