For years, Gilas Pilipinas has had numerous shooters that can stretch out the floor. From Marcio Lassiter to Gary David and Jeff Chan, they have all made their mark in the Gilas program.
In the latest batch of Gilas, Filipino-Canadian Matthew Wright and Allein Maliksi have been designated as the team’s long-range bombers. And for Wright, he knows that this is his job.
“I’m here to replace guys like Jeff Chan, Gary David, and Marcio Lassiter.
“I have some big shoes to fill as one of the designated shooters in the team. I have to shoot with confidence, I have to shoot at a high percentage,” the 26-year-old shared. “I’m not gonna get the same amount of shots that I did with Phoenix, with my mother team. So the shots that I do get, I have to knock them down.”
And during the 2017 SEABA Men’s Championship, the 6-foot-4 sniper showed why he was destined to be part of Gilas.
Wright was the most consistent player in the Philippines’ six games, posting norms of 12.0 points on 49 percent shooting from the field, 54.5 percent shooting from downtown.
After hearing coach Chot Reyes’ praise about him, saying that he is an important piece to the program, Wright, who oozes confidence, downplayed it.
“That’s high praise but I’m still just one part of the team,” the 2016 ABL ASEAN Heritage MVP said after Gilas’ win over Indonesia Thursday night that booked their spot to the next stage.
“Every single one of us hold water for the team and we each have just as equal amount of say and amount of contribution to winning this championship.”
But Wright knows that the road only gets tougher as they now head to the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup in August and the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers in November. The product of St. Bonaventure though knows that they will work as hard as the other teams.
“They can scout me all they want, they can scout the team all they want. But they have to go out there and guard us.
“We scout teams too, that’s the beauty of basketball. They know we’re gonna do, and we just have to be able to execute it. It’s a chess match. So they can scout us all they want but they actually have to go out here and guard us,” the rookie opined.
“I’m not gonna say this is a cakewalk. But the competition was not as high level as what we’re gonna be facing. We definitely know that it’s gonna be harder and we’re up for it.”
Justin Brownlee carries Ginebra to bounce back OT win over San Miguel
Lester Prosper looks to be with Columbian ‘for the long run’
Jerramy King still working his way back to Columbian
De Guzman lifts PLDT to bounce back win; Army, Navy create tie at fourth
Ateneo Lady Eagles in unison: ‘Sisi Rondina made everything so much harder’
Mighty Sports taps Mikey Williams, Aaron Black for Jones Cup
Tolentino siblings made sure to bring glory to Ateneo in final years
Kat Tolentino leaves Ateneo at peace
Saldua’s putback, Robles’ swat pave way for Davao Occidental’s escape of Zamboanga
Collado, Gabo connive as Basilan Steel give Bicol rude MPBL welcome
Motolite picks up first win at skidding Bali Pure’s expense
PacificTown-Army ends first round at solo third, outlasts BanKo
- News5 days ago
Kalei Mau transfers to F2 Logistics as UVC disbands
- News4 days ago
Bryan Bagunas signs with Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler
- News4 days ago
Kalei Mau on choosing F2: ‘I thought about what team will benefit me as a player’
- Basketball4 days ago
Alex Nuyles gets a new lease on life with Bicol Volcanoes