MATTHEW Wright will not allow himself to be pressured now that all eyes are on him in Gilas Pilipinas’ campaign in the 2019 FIBA World Cup following the injury to Marcio Lassiter.
The Phoenix gunner will likely take the place of Lassiter in the final 12-man lineup after the San Miguel veteran went down with a grade 2 MCL injury in his left knee during the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs.
While Guiao isn’t giving up on Lassiter, he said the team will find a way to make up for his absence if he doesn’t make it, mentioning Wright as a likely replacement.
For Wright however, everything stays the same with or without Lassiter.
“Some people may say it’s an added pressure, but I don’t think so,” said Wright, one of four members of the Gilas training pool that attended Friday’s 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Trophy Tour at the Meralco Bldg. in Ortigas.
“I will still be going to preparing the way I’ve been preparing. You always come in training like you’re gonna be playing for minutes no matter what. That’s not gonna change my motivation or anything like that,” he added.
Wright hasn’t personally talked to Lassiter yet, but like the rest of the team, felt down upon learning of the injury that befell his national teammate.
“He’s been playing good basketball. We obviously need him for his outside shooting and defense, and his experience, too,” said Wright. “
If Lassiter sits out, Wright expects Gilas Pilipinas to rise to the challenge.
“It’s a little bit of a letdown for the team, but just gives us an opportunity for everyone to rise to the challenge,” he said.