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    No hard feelings after Wright left out of PH pool for final Fiba qualifiers

    Jan 17, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    LEFT out of the Team Pilipinas pool for the final window of the FIBA World Cup qualifiers, Matthew Wright said he is still more than willing to serve flag and country if ever he’s called upon.

    “Whenever my name is called for the country I’m ready for duty,” assured the Phoenix shooting guard.

    Wright’s name was not on the 14-man training pool the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) released on Tuesday for the two crucial qualifiers set Feb. 21 to 25 in Qatar and Kazakhstan, respectively.

    It is what it is, according to the Fil-Canadian star, who suited up for the national team in its last two games in the qualifiers at home against Kazakhstan and Iran, both of which the Filipinos lost.

    Wright doesn’t have any hard feelings as well for not being made part of the pool.

    “That’s out of my control. I can’t control that. That’s the coach’s decision,” he said. “I just wish them all the best."

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      Wright also felt the return of naturalized player Andray Blatche in the lineup will be a big boost to the team, which needs to sweep its final two away games to have a shot at a berth in the FIBA World Cup to be held in China later this year.

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      “I know Andray (Blatche) is back, so hopefully we can get two wins,” said Wright, who was named as part of the PBA Mythical Second Team last season.

      “We need those two wins so I wish all those guys the best.”

      Aside from Blatche, named to the pool were Jayson Castro, Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood, Scottie Thompson, Marcio Lassiter, Japeth Aguilar, Poy Erram, Troy Rosario, June Mar Fajardo, Mark Barroca, Raymond Almazan, Roger Pogoy, and Christian Standhardinger.

      At the moment, Team Pilipinas is running fourth in Group F with an even 5-5 record behind Australia (9-1), Iran (8-2), and Japan (6-4)

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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