Philippine basketball

Matthew Wright on cusp of making Phoenix history

Delfin Dioquino
Matthew Wright on cusp of making Phoenix history

TOP TIER. Matthew Wright has clearly stamped his mark as one of the best players in the PBA.

Photo from PBA Images

Matthew Wright has a chance to become the first player from the Phoenix franchise to be crowned the PBA Best Player of the Conference

Winning the PBA Best Player of the Conference (BPC) award for Matthew Wright will be a validation of his stellar stint in the recent Philippine Cup that saw Phoenix exceed expectations.

“It would just be nice to be recognized for just putting your passion in doing something you love and be recognized for having a good season,” Wright told Rappler.

“Because I felt like time has passed that I’ve been snubbed for things, [so] it is really nice,” he added.

Throughout his four-year PBA career, the highest accolades Wright won are a Mythical Second Team selection in 2018 and two All-Star Game MVP honors in 2017.

But Wright has clearly stamped his mark as one of the best players in the league, almost leading the Fuel Masters to a breakthrough PBA finals appearance and putting on an impressive individual campaign.

In 17 games, Wright normed 21.1 points, 5.5 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.2 steals for Phoenix to finish at the No. 4 spot in the statistical points race.

Those numbers would certainly be higher if not for the ankle sprain he sustained early in the semifinals against TNT – an injury that may have also affected the Fuel Masters’ chances against the KaTropa.

Phoenix fell to TNT in 5 games of their best-of-five semifinals affair.

“To be nominated alone is already pretty big. There are some good players on that list,” said Wright, who is up against teammate Calvin Abueva, TNT’s Ray Parks and Roger Pogoy, Barangay Ginebra’s Stanley Pringle, and Terrafirma’s CJ Perez for the award.

“It would mean a lot to my mom, she would be really happy for that.”

Aside from notching a personal milestone, Wright said it would be special for the Fuel Masters, with him having a chance of being the first player from the young franchise to be crowned BPC.

“I understand being one of their marquee players along with Calvin and Jason (Perkins), we have a responsibility to promote the team and be a positive light for the company,” Wright said.

“This would definitely be a victory for the Phoenix organization.”

As Phoenix established itself as a force to be reckoned with, Wright only has one goal for the franchise.

“I want to win a championship. That is really all I care about. All my idols growing up like Kobe (Bryant) and Michael (Jordan), it was all about championships. That is the only thing that really counts,” Wright said.

“I’ve won a championship in every level: high school, college, pro. I want to win one in the PBA.” – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.