FOR Matthew Wright, the feeling is mutual.
The Fil-Canadian gunner felt flattered about NBA veteran Andray Blatche mentioning him as among the new Gilas Pilipinas players who impressed him the first time he practiced with the national team.
A surprised Wright gave out a wide grin when told about it.
“Yeah? Well, coming from a guy who has played in the NBA, he has played against the best, he has played against my idols. So I’m excited just having him on the team.”
Blatche mentioned Wright in the same breath as fellow cadet Roger Pogoy and big man Raymond Almazan.
For the 25-year-old Phoenix rookie, playing alongside someone who had nine years of NBA experience donning the colors of the Washington Wizards and the Brooklyn Nets is certainly going to be a big learning experience.
“I’m going to pick his brain about the NBA, I’m going to pick his brain about certain players, and try to learn as much as I can,” said Wright.
Following the repeated delays of Blatche’s arrival here following the birth of his first-born baby, Wright said Gilas was bracing to play without any naturalized player for the Southeast Asia Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship.
“We’re prepared to play the Seaba tournament without Andray,” he said.
But his arrival, noted Wright, gave Gilas even more confidence of running over the seven-team field, whose lone winner will qualify and represent the region in the Fiba Asia Cup this August.
“Now that he’s here, he’s going to be huge for us, adding another dimension (to the team),” said the Gilas cadet. “We’re now much better with him coming to the tournament.”