If there’s a chance to get Matthew Wright, Blackwater will pounce on it.
None other than his former mentor in Ariel Vanguardia said as much, although the latter knows that it may no longer be possible with the erstwhile Phoenix Super LPG star reportedly bound to play somewhere else outside the PBA.
He only said that to point out what the Bossing are badly needing in particular after bowing out of the 2022 Philippine Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday evening, ending what was once a promising campaign for the franchise.
“if we can get someone like Matthew Wright at the three-spot, [because] that’s a weakness for us right now,” said the veteran bench tactician moments after their 123-93 defeat to San Miguel Beer at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
“Malay mo si Matthew Wright ibigay sa amin, ‘di ba? Libre naman mangarap e. ‘Cause he’s expiring, we’re gonna offer some trade for him, maybe a package that Phoenix is willing. But alam naman natin where he’s headed.”
Vanguardia and Co. have an inkling of sorts for the kind of improvement they want to see as Blackwater struggled mightily after starting the conference with a 5-1 record, which equaled their best start in team history.
After that impressive run in June, the squad apparently ran out of luck the following month, first losing to the Beermen in overtime last July 10 that proved to be the beginning of a skid. They ended the eliminations at 5-6.
The champion bench tactician isn’t one to offer excuses but the injuries to key players such as Yousef Taha, JVee Casio, Baser Amer, Joshua Torralba, and again to Brandon Rosser definitely took its toll on them.
Thus, the importance to add more depth to their lineup, said Vanguardia.
“It’s just unfortunate that we were hit with injuries this July. We looked like a tired team, really. But no excuses, we got beat. And we have to move forward. We have to find ways to improve our lineup and to deepen our bench,” he said.
“We’d like to improve some more going to the conference, leading to the next conference. We’re gonna look at the lineup, see if we can make some trades, if not we’re gonna look at free agents also,” he added.
Blackwater is indeed eager to grow from their run in the all-Filipino tilt, and so it will be a busy mid-season break for them starting off with their participation in a pocket tournament in Dubai next month — together with their import.
Vanguardia, though, has yet to reveal the identity of their reinforcement.
“It just goes to show that the management is hell-bent on improving from this conference — we improved this conference,” he said. “We’re keeping the faith, that’s why we’re starting early again … and we’ll bounce back.”
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.