Pardo looking forward to showing Webb the ropes
TOKYO – Star Hotshots alternate governor Rene Pardo has a new student waiting to be tutored once he returns home after the annual board planning session at Hilton Hotel here.
Jason Webb, who was asked to fill the post left vacant when two-time Grand Slam champion Tim Cone, with 17 championships to his name, was reassigned to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel during the offseason, will be the second such pupil of smooth-talking sensei after Ryan Gregorio, the former Purefoods coach and now Meralco Bolts team manager.
An assistant coach for only a few months, Webb takes over one of the most popular ballclubs in the PBA, with no less than James Yap and Marc Pingris illuminating the star-filled roster.
He will be threading the path Gregorio once walked on towards a successful coaching career.
In a little over a decade, Gregorio won three PBA championships, three Coach of the Year honors and had four All-Star selections later, achievements Pardo will hang in front of Webb for the former De La Salle stalwart to target.
“Ganito rin nong panahon ni Ryan,” says Pardo. “Ayaw din niya when we told him that his time to coach Purefoods has come. Sabi niya, ‘boss, hindi ko pa kaya.’ We told him to help us look for a coach. Finally the choice came down to him alone, so he had to accept. Then we guided him.”
Inexperienced as far as coaching is concerned and in handling the egos of highly-paid superstars, Webb nonetheless buckles down to work starting Aug. 15 or 16, with Purefoods president and former PBA chairman Butch Alejo dropping by team practice at the Ronac gym on the 17th.
Pardo has his concerns over Webb’s relative inexperience, although his youth, zest and readiness to be schooled override whatever questions the Star official have in his mind.
“Marami siyang ideas and I just hope to guide him, show him the ropes, like Ryan,” said Pardo, who took Gregorio’s hand in 2003 after Eric Altamirano left and then set off the former University of the Philippines stalwart to a quest in the great beyond.
With the blueprint of Gregorio’s success story before him, Pardo now begins work on a new project.
Webb has made clear earlier that he won’t be a copycat, announcing the Hotshots will no longer be confined to the sides and angles of the triangle offense.
“What chance do I have at beating the master of that system?” Webb said after news of his impending appointment came out weeks ago. “I just have to come up with my own, something that suits my personality and mindset.”
Rene Pardo won’t stand in the way even as he holds Jason Webb’s hand only as long as necessary – which shouldn’t be for very long. (WJRHT)
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