MATTHEW Wright was hitting tough shots left and right to keep Phoenix in the game. It was just too bad he missed the one shot that could have won it for them.
Wright had a chance to wrap up what was an amazing performance down the stretch with the game winning basket, but his supposed go-ahead jumper went long as the Meralco Bolts escaped with an overtime win on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 27-year-old deadshot nailed a tough three pointer right in the face of Chris Newsome to send the game into overtime before scoring the Fuel Masters’ first eight points in the extension.
That all went for naught when he missed his jumper with less than five seconds to go.
“I just missed the last shot. That’s basically it. I felt like both teams cancelled each other out, both teams played hard, it went to overtime so clearly it’s evenly matched, so I just missed the shot,” said Wright who finished with 28 points and six assists.
“I was confident. I shot it a little bit too strong. I got the look that I wanted. I was deadcenter. I got to my spot. I got the separation that I wanted. Just too strong,” he added.
Despite the tough loss, Wright was quick to tap his hat off to the Bolts who showed grit and composure in the game.
“I just played basketball. Took what the defense gave me. My teammates found me in spots where I can succeed. Give credit to Meralco they gutted this one out. They’re a good team.”
Wright takes solace in the compliments that he received from Meralco coach Norman Black – calling him ‘one of the best three point shooters in the league.’
Wright was left starstruck with the kind words, especially after knowing that they played in the same conference, the Atlantic 10, back when both of them were in college.
Wright played for St. Bonaventure while Black starred in St. Joseph’s.
“Coming from coach Norman, that’s a really big compliment. He coached me in the All Star game, I did a little research on him, he played in one of the schools in the conference that I played for in the states, he was one of the leading scorers on the team,” said Wright.
“He’s a great basketball mind. Everyone knows his pedigree as an import. He’s just a great player. For him to notice that, it’s very flattering. He went to St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia. The same school as Langston Galloway, Jameer Nelson and Delonte West so it’s a very solid basketball school and he was the second leading scorer in that school? So he knows his basketball.”