Ariel Vanguardia hoping Fil-Canadian Matthew Wright gets invite to Gilas cadets
Matthew Wright made waves as Best Asean Import in the ABL. Photo courtesy of Kuk Thew

MALAYSIA Dragons coach Ariel Vanguardia is hoping Matthew Wright would gain a spot in the Gilas Pilipinas cadet squad following an impressive campaign in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).

Vanguardia said feelers have been sent to Wright about the possibility of joining the Gilas program even before the Dragons won the ABL crown.

The Fil-Canadian shooting guard wound up winning the ABL Best Asean import award this season.

“Hopefully, he is going to practice with Gilas,” Vanguardia said. “There is a Gilas cadet that they are forming.”

The 25-year-old Wright, who played for St. Bonaventure in the Atlantic 10 Conference, averaged 23.1 points in the Dragons’ elimination round campaign where the squad took the top seeding in the playoffs.

Malaysia captured the ABL crown in a five-game series over Singapore that went the distance.

[See Fil-Am Jason Brickman shows the way as Westports Malaysia Dragons win first ever ABL title]

Vanguardia now hopes Wright would be invited to join the Philippine training team.

“Gilas was talking to him and I spoke with Josh Reyes (Gilas assistant coach) and we spoke when we played them,” he said.

Wright earlier said no Gilas representative has spoken with his camp.

[See Fil-Canadian Matthew Wright focused on ABL title bid, shuns talk on PBA and Gilas]

"I told them that after the season, he is free to practice with Gilas if they want. I think I’m going to call them up and see if they want him to practice. I know Matt wants to play for Gilas. He is proud of his roots and if given a chance, I hope he gets a slot. I know it will be tough but just to practice with them will be big,” said Vanguardia.

Vanguardia said Wright has also attracted interest from teams abroad including France where he had played before.

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“His former team wants him back,” said Vanguardia.

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