Matthew Wright expressed confidence with the youth-laden Gilas Pilipinas, saying it can get the job done in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers’ first window that starts later this week.
The talent pool made for the upcoming tilt has been tagged as “hybrid” since it is comprised mainly of the best young stars from the UAAP and NCAA while reinforced by PBA players.
“I’m sure those guys are just as talented and as ready to compete. I’m not worried and I don’t think anybody should be,” he said. “The Philippines is still in great hands with this batch of college guys.
“I went to see their practices and they look very good and they look focused, and coach Tab’s (Baldwin) definitely doing a good job. Regardless of who he has, he’s gonna make it work.”
The Filipino-Canadian sharpshooter was among the original members of the 24-man roster, and was among the 11 pros set not only to bolster it, but to also provide veteran presence.
However, Wright begged off from national team duty as he plans to continue the rehabilitation of his ankle.
“My body’s just not ready. I’d love to do it, I’m still gonna be in the pool. I talked to coach Tab already and he understands. Just my body’s not one hundred percent. I got to put that first,” he said.
Wright also said that he looks to prioritize his commitment to mother team Phoenix Pulse for now for the new PBA season that is set to raise its curtains on March 8.
The Fuel Masters are aiming to make another impressive run in the Philippine Cup just like last season, where they finished the eliminations as the top seed and went as far as the semifinals.
“I wanna also help the Phoenix guys this season,” said Wright, who’s entering his fourth season in the league.
“There’s a lot of things, a lot of factors, but first and foremost, my body’s not ready yet for that extra grind in secondary practices after my primary practice.”
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