Published September 15, 2019, 6:16 AM By Jonas Terrado
Phoenix Pulse star Matthew Wright promised to be at full strength by the start of the PBA Governors’ Cup next week after an injured right ankle forced him to miss Gilas Pilipinas’ campaign in the FIBA World Cup in China.
Phoenix Pulse’s Matthew Wright, right, goes past Rain or Shine’s Ed Daquioag during a recent tune-up game. (Photo from Phoenix Pulse)
Wright sustained the injury a week before the World Cup, his absence eventually took its toll on Gilas as it struggled shooting the ball in all five losses in Foshan and Beijing.
The three-year pro has since joined Phoenix’s preparation for the season-ending conference after a short rest and rehab, and played in the team’s recent tune-up matches against Rain or Shine and Korean club Jeongju KCC Egis.
“I’m almost there. I’ll probably say 90 to 95 percent,” Wright said.
“I could use more time strengthening it and just getting into full speed of what game simulation would be. But I’ll be ready by the beginning of next conference.”
Phoenix opens its campaign on Sept. 21 against NLEX at the Smart Araneta Coliseum with veteran import Eugene Phelps back for another tour of duty.
While Wright said it was a “big relief” that the injury didn’t need any major surgery, he was also frustrated with the timing knowing that he could have provided the needed help.
He was supposed to play a bigger role as far as outside shooting is concerned after Marcio Lassiter suffered a sprained MCL while playing for San Miguel Beer in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs.
Gilas made just 36 out of 143 attempts to finish 31 out of 32 World Cup participants in three-point percentage with a 25-percent clip. Puerto Rico was the worst at 24 percent.
“It was hard to swallow. It was hard to watch the team out there struggle, knowing you could help the team out,” Wright said.
Tags: 2019 PBA Governors' Cup , Matthew Wright , Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters