A remorseful Joel Wright admitted emotions got the better of him in Rain or Shine’s 103-91 loss to TnT Katropa Saturday night in the PBA Governors Cup, but at the same time, expressed that he was just protecting himself from what he termed were ‘dirty stuff that’s been going on.’
“There’s no excuses. I just got to play better, that’s all,” said the emotional Elasto Painters import as he made his way out of the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I just got to keep my composure more and just got to play better.”
Wright was whistled for a flagrant foul penalty 1 after he intentionally tripped Troy Rosario with 3:50 left in the game, forcing him to sit down on the bench for three minutes.
The import apparently thought Rosario hit him with the basketball on the face during the rebound battle.
The Elasto Painters were down, 86-92, and in the midst of a mini-rally when the incident happened.
Coach Caloy Garcia later pointed to Wright’s flagrant foul as the turning point of the match that led to Rain or Shine absorbing its second straight loss in three outings.
“I think he has to learn in that situation that we needed him inside the game. We already had the momentum,” said the coach.
“Wrong nga siya today,” added Garcia of Wright. “I think he lost it, I think he felt that he got hit in the face. But Troy had an accidental hit on the ball. So basically he has to learn from that. In whatever league that you play, know what happened first before you can do that especially in a situation where he had a chance.”
But Wright insisted he’s been the target of dirty plays.
“I saw a lot of dirty stuff going on, but I guess it’s where I’m at. I’m an import so I guess they got to protect their players here,” said the 29-year-old Brooklyn native.
“It gets annoying as you play the whole game,” he added. “Before I got the ejection, I got a whole hit in my face. He elbowed me in my mouth. That’s dirty. You don’t play like that.”
The Rain or Shine import though knows the proximity of his action cost the Elasto Painters the game for which he sounds apologetic.
“I should be out there helping my team. I should have been on the bench last three minutes, down six. That was definitely big time,” said Wright.
“But as I’ve said, I’ve got to play better for my teammates, for the coaches.”
Wright finished with a team-high of 20 points, eight rebounds, and three assists.