PICKING up the pieces after a failed PBA Philippine Cup campaign may not be easy for the Star Hotshots and their rookie coach Jason Webb.
Multiple sources bared to Spin.ph that the Hotshots' campaign in the season-opening conference ended with the sight of superstar James Yap throwing a tantrum inside the dugout, moments after a heartbreaking 89-92 loss to rival Barangay Ginebra.
At least two sources confirmed the normally mild-mannered Yap broke the fiber-glass board inside the Star locker room at the Mall of Asia Arena and threw two mono bloc chairs out of frustration over a game the Hotshots appeared to have put in the bag after leading by 18 points in the fourth quarter.
An official of the SM Mall of Asia Arena also confirmed the board inside the Star dugout was damaged and that the PBA has already been informed about the cost of the repair.
“Yes, nasira po ang white board dun. It’s not actually a white board; it’s a wall na fiber glass that teams use to write and map out their game plans,” said the MOA Arena official who asked not to be named.
“Pero we have already informed the PBA about it. They will shoulder the repair of the broken wall,” he added.
The tantrum should test the relationship between Yap, the other Star players and Webb, who as it is already has a tough act to follow after taking over from Tim Cone following the two-time grand slam coach's move to Ginebra.
People close to Yap said the two-time MVP was frustrated not only over the Star collapse but also by Webb's decision to sit his veteran players like PJ Simon and go with a young five led by Alex Mallari and Justin Melton in overtime of the loss to Ginebra.
“Sumama ang loob ni James kasi panalo na sila sa game eh, nakawala pa,” said a team insider, who expressed surprise that Yap was unable to hold back his emotions after the loss.
"Tahimik na tao 'yun eh. Napakabait, pero that time di na n'ya naitago ang kanyang galit,” he added.
As it is, Webb, a former Tanduay and Sta. Lucia player who worked as a television commentator before joining Cone's staff as an assistant, has already come under fire from fans for what they believed were poor decisions in the middle of the Star collapse against Ginebra.
A number of fans have primarily questioned Webb's failure to adjust after inbounds done by Rafi Reavis led to back-to-back turnovers in the endgame, allowing Ginebra to tie the score and almost steal the win in regulation had Sol Mercado converted a wide-open layup.