THIS was Matthew Wright’s way of making up for Phoenix.
The rookie gunner exploded for 21 points and presided over the Fuel Masters’ strong start to their 114-104 victory over Mahindra Sunday in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Wright made the output in just three quarters as he finished shooting 7 of 14 from the floor and 5 of 9 from three-point range.
It was the second straight win for the Fuel Masters (2-1) in Wright’s second consecutive game with the team after sitting out the team’s debut following a bout with food poisoning.
Wright was apologetic to the team after the incident as the Fuel Masters suffered a 94-87 loss to Blackwater.
“I still feel a little bit guilty with that loss,” he said. “I knew that I could have been contributed and could have been a different story.
“But that’s water under the bridge and I’m happy we got the win today.”
The 25-year-old Filipino-Canadian made his debut against defending champion San Miguel. He struggled finding his rhythm during the match at the Ynares Center in Antipolo, but finished with 14 points in helping the Fuel Masters turn back the Beermen, 92-85.
He admitted feeling the jitters during his first game, but managed to finally settle down against the Floodbuster.
“Today I finally felt that I could go out there and play. The pressure is off and my teammates found me and put me in good spots,” said Wright, who played a key role in Westport Malaysia Dragons winning their first ever Asean Basketball League (ABL) title last season under Phoenix coach Ariel Vanguardia.
With the pressure off, Wright was asked about the lechon (roast pig) he reportedly ate that led to the food poisoning incident.
“It’s something I just remembered, it could be the water, it could really be anything,” said a smiling Wright, a product of St. Bonaventure.
“My stomach isn’t really used to the food here,” he added. “From now on, I’ll stay clean and definitely watch out what I eat before games.”