MATTHEW Wright played the hero’s role for Phoenix Pulse in Game Three despite battling bronchitis.
Phoenix Pulse coach Louie Alas bared Wright was present in practice but did not participate in the physical activities due to his illness.
The 28-year-old Wright only played for 19 minutes but contributed when it mattered most, hitting four crucial free throws to lead Phoenix Pulse to a 92-90 win in Game Three of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.
“Si Matt, tatlong araw na may sakit ‘yan kaya tingnan niyo, ginagamit ko lang sparingly,” said Alas. “Ang [wish] ko lang sana, wag lumala ‘yung bronchitis niya.”
“Hindi ko na nga sinasama sa practices. Andun lang siya,” Alas added.
Wright described his illness as ‘sore throat,’ but said there was no way he would miss Game Three with the Fuel Masters down, 0-2, entering Sunday’s match.
“A little sore throat. But you have to man up. This is the playoffs. Everybody is aching. Everybody’s got injuries. No one is feeling a hundred percent. You have a job to do. There’s no way I’m going to miss that game,” said Wright.
Wright, in his third year with the Fuel Masters, missed just one of his eight free throws. His four charities broke an 86-86 deadlock on their way to victory.
“I got fouled, I have to go to the line, I have to make them. I missed a free throw earlier today which was pretty uncharacteristic. But I knew once I go to the line, I’ll just try to ignore the noise and shoot. I’ve been shooting for how many years so we really needed those free throws,” said Wright.