'Good communicator' Jason Webb has a lot of upside as PBA coach, says dad Freddie
Freddie Webb watched son Jason's debut as Star coach from ringside in the company of granddaughters Tatiana and Blessing. Jerome Ascano

FORMER Senator and Olympian Freddie Webb has always been supportive of the basketball career of his son Jason that he wasn't going to miss the chance to see his PBA coaching debut with the Star Hotshots on Wednesday.

Webb, 72, was at ringside of the Mall of Asia Arena to watch Jason launch his new career, exactly 30 years after he himself last coached in the pro league with Formula Shell.

The ex-PBA player known for his quickness intently observed how his son, dapper in his black suit, conducted himself at the sidelines during the game which the Hotshots lost to Rain or Shine, 96-87, after leading for most of the way on opening night.

While he believes there’s lot of room for improvement, ‘Fastbreak Freddie’ said he has complete faith in his son.

“Jason always had his own mind, even when he was young. I know that it’s a hard task ahead of him but he’s used to pressure. He’s done it before,” said the elder Webb, who watched the game with his granddaughters with Jason – Tatiana and Blessing – beside him.

“As a father, you always hope for the best for your son.”

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Being a former player himself with La Salle in college and Sta. Lucia and Tanduay in the pros later on is a big help for Jason in his new role as coach, according to Webb.

Moreover, being a former broadcaster himself would help Jason be more open and vocal among his players.

“Jason is a good communicator. I think that’s one of the best assets of any coach plus the fact that he knows how it is to be a player,” said the elder Webb, a member of the last Philippine team to play in the Olympics (Munich 1972).

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"He’s been there before, so when you’re a player, you know what they want, how players react, what to expect and what to give.”

The elder Webb, who played as a pro from 1975-78, disclosed his son sought his advice before taking on the Hotshots’ coaching job.

“I told him you’re in your 40s, so you should be able to know what’s right. He figured that a door opened for him and I hope he can prove himself worthy to be a good coach,” said the former senator.

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Once in a while, Webb would give Jason some coaching advice, although he knows his son has learned a lot just being around the most accomplished coach in PBA history.

“He has learned a lot from Tim Cone. Of course, any coach that comes into another system of another coach will have to make the necessary adjustments, and I think he knows how to deal with it,” he said.

Webb, who still does a lot of gym work to keep fit, still keeps busy hosting a weekly radio show about Philippines sports and still appears in television shows and movies.

But he seldom plays pick-up game nowadays, although the elder Webb said he still does shooting practice during his spare time.

“Baka pag-pick ko ng bola hindi na ako maka-tayo,” he said when asked if he still plays pick-up game. “But I still love to shoot. Actually I think I’m a better shooter now than before.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos