MATTHEW Wright’s offensive prowess overshadowed his solid defensive job particularly on Scottie Thompson in Phoenix’s 79-73 win over Ginebra on Sunday night in the PBA Philippine Cup.
While he stood out again on offense with a team-high 18 points – all in the second half, the Fuel Masters top rookie also delivered on the other end by defending Thompson and keeping the Ginebra rebounding machine off the boards.
Coming off a 15-rebound effort in a win over Blackwater last Friday, Thompson was held to just eight boards against the Fuel Masters.
“He's a unique player,” Wright said of the sophomore guard, who stands below 6’1”. “He's a different type of basketball player. Definitely I’m not used to a six-footer averaging ten rebounds per game, crashing all the time.”
“He's a pest, but we limited him – if you wanna even say that – to eight rebounds which is really good for a guard but it’s better than his usual ten,” he added. “I felt we accomplished the goal we set.”
Wright, though, admitted, it wasn’t easy to shadow Thompson, his expended energy eventually affecting his shooting.
“Trying to stop Scottie took a toll on me,” the 6-foot-4 Wright said. “He doesn't stop moving, he's like an energizer bunny, his motor is ridiculous. That's the point of emphasis we tried to make is we keep him off the boards.”
“I know that if Scottie would grab some offensive rebounds, that will really hurt us so I took the extra initiative to chase him around which is really tiring and I feel like (I didn’t have) any legs to shoot it,” he added.
“But I’m happy in the second half I had a couple to go down and after that when the confidence goes up, you won't think of getting tired.”