MATTHEW Wright is hoping his impressive individual numbers translate into team success this time as Phoenix takes on NLEX on Wednesday night at the Cuneta Astrodome with the PBA Philippine Cup postseason race continuing to heat up.
The Fuel Masters rookie has emerged on top of the scoring list among fellow freshmen at 18.7 points per game through Tuesday, eclipsing early leader Mac Belo.
But the individual stats is the last thing on Wright’s mind, he insists, as the Fuel Masters are still far from assured of getting to the playoffs with an even 4-4 win-loss card.
“Honestly, no (conscious effort). I just want to win,” Wright said. “I want to put my team in the playoffs. I want to go on a deep playoff run.”
“Individual success takes a backseat to team success,” he added. “And if I want to get individual awards, I have to worry about helping my team first.”
Putting up outstanding numbers last time didn’t result in a win as his conference-bests of 26 points, 12 boards, and five assists wasn’t enough as he saw the Fuel Masters suffer a 15-point loss to Rain or Shine last week.
“It doesn’t matter how many points you scored. If you lose by double digits, it’s not satisfying,” Wright said.
The Filipino-Canadian forward is more concerned with getting a win, starting in the matchup against the Road Warriors at 7 p.m.
A victory for the Fuel Masters will move them closer to a quarterfinal berth, while the Road Warriors are also eager to register only their third victory in nine games.
TNT Katropa, part of a five-team logjam at 4-4 with Phoenix, is likewise seeking to get back on track following a loss to Star last Sunday as it faces Mahindra (2-5) earlier at 4:15 p.m.