MATTHEW Wright should be the one receiving gifts on Wednesday, but on the day he was celebrating his birthday, he was the one sharing.
The Phoenix gunner was glad to dish out the assist that set up Doug Kramer for the game-winner in a 74-72 escape against TNT KaTropa that allowed the Fuel Masters to get back on the winning track in the PBA Philippine Cup on the day Wright turned 27.
Curling off a pick from Kramer, Wright caught a pass on the right corner from Gelo Alolino and, seeing a TNT double-team, made a bounce pass to his rolling big man for the go-ahead floater with three seconds left.
Wright bared he has an idea of the Texters defensive play, considering TNT assistant Josh Reyes is an assistant coach for Gilas Pilipinas, where Wright is a member.
“I knew that they're gonna double,” Wright said. “I know coach Josh, I know the scheme that they're trying to do, they're not gonna let me get off a good shot.”
“I knew right when I touched the ball, when I came off that screen, that I was gonna be met with either Kelly or Mo, so it was just a matter of Doug positioning himself in the right spot, and a matter of me just making a good pass,” he added. “It just happened very instinctively.”
By sharing the ball, Wright also received a birthday present that turned out to be the Fuel Masters’ fourth victory in eight games.
“It's the only thing I wanted, man. I just wanted to win today,” the Filipino-Canadian cager said. “It was a big game, really important for both teams. We knew Talk N Text was gonna take this game by the…We were down all game but they let the door open. We're just lucky to capitalize on some mistakes.”
Wright, though, is reminding his teammates not to get ahead of themselves, although he's optimistic of sweeping the remaining games.
“This is the PBA, man. Anything can happen,” Wright said. “So we're not taking any of those teams lightly. We are confident in our abilities, and we're expecting to go 4-and-0 in our last four games. We took care of today, so we just gotta take care of the next three.”