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Tiebreaker Times


Mahindra’s Wright felt the effects of jetlag in debut

Keith Wright was like an Energizer bunny right from tip-off in the Mahindra Floodbuster’s game against the Star Hotshots, Wednesday evening. In his first 12 minutes of action, the 27-year-old had already tallied eight points, grabbed six rebounds, and swatted away a shot to help Mahindra keep close to Star.

But as the game progressed, Wright appeared to lose the spring in his step, his output slowly decreasing as the minutes went by. He did finish the game with 17 points but needed 22 attempts to do so, while grabbing 14 boards, dishing out five dimes, and swatting away three shots. However, his debut did not solve Mahindra’s problem, as they fell 83-79 to the league-leaders.

“It was a tough one, missed a lot of easy shots around the rim,” the Harvard alumnus shared.

Wright had just arrived from Manila two days ago. And with the 12-hour time difference, his body clock has yet to adjust, he shared.

“I’m just getting my legs back I just got it two days ago, I really felt the plane ride in the second half, missing a lot of shots around the rim that I usually make,” he admitted.

With his first game under his belt, the undrafted cager from the 2012 NBA Draft likes the physicality of the PBA compared to the NBA D-League, where he has played for the last three years.

“It’s physical — coming from the D-League where there’s defensive three seconds, so I’m not really used to guys in the paint, shooting over that many people,” the former Westchester Knick reflected.

“Just an adjustment that I have to make, it’s a physical game, the type of game that I like and that I thrive in. Just adjusting and getting rid of this jetlag.”

Though he isn’t promising that he can turn the fortunes of the Floodbuster around, Wright wants to assure his teammates that he will look for them on offense.

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“I’m not a selfish guy. If I’m getting double-teamed, I’m gonna make the pass, make the smart pass put and trust my guys to make plays,” he said.

“We have guys that are threats offensively it makes the job easier on me.”

And the composure he displayed in his first game is what coach Chris Gavina is expecting of him.

“I think that’s just part of his game. He doesn’t get rattled when double teams come. He’s able to stay composed,” Gavina remarked.

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