MATTHEW Wright was among the 24 players named to the Gilas Pilipinas 5.0 pool for the Fiba Asia Challenge, but never made it in time to join the national team in the disappointing Tehran, Iran campaign.
Still, Wright told SPIN.ph on Friday he is set to formalize a deal with the country's basketball program by signing a multi-year deal.
"I am with Gilas," said Wright when asked about his commitment to Gilas at the end of Mighty Sports' practice on Friday. "I will sign with them after this tournament and when they arrive from Iran. I'll be in the Philippines for the next couple of years."
But for now, Wright, who played for the Philippine Youth team in 2008 with good friend Norbert Torres, said his focus is on trying to help Mighty Sports win the championship in the Merlion Cup starting on September 21 in Singapore.
The Fil-Canadian sniper added he is confident his team can win it all in the tournament last ruled by the AspacTexmaco of Indonesia 20 years ago.
"I'm confident with our team. We have very talented guys. We have size, we have good locals who are ready if they need to play. We like our odds," said the the 25-year-old Wright, who won the Asean Heritage MVP plum in the last Asean Basketball League (ABL) season.
A former NCAA Division I standout with St. Bonaventure, Wright will play alongside prolific imports Al Thornton, Dewarick Spencer, and Hamady N'Diaye.
Mighty Sports coach Charles Tiu is pleased with the addition of Wright to a team which is eyeing to duplicate its gold medal finish in the Jones' Cup a few months ago.
Tiu even lauded the Dragons star, calling him "among the best shooters in the country."
"We wanted him even for the Jones' Cup. I put him among the best shooters in the country," Tiu said.