MATTHEW Wright is hands down the face of the Phoenix franchise.
The Fil-Canadian guard signed a contract extension with the Fuel Masters on Thursday, a testimony that the team is leaving its future in the hands of one of the PBA’s most deadly marksmen today.
The signing was done in the presence of Wright, his representative Marvin Espiritu of the Espiritu Manotoc Basketball Management (EMBC) and Phoenix team manager Paolo Bugia.
The new three-year deal, SPIN.ph learned from sources, is on top of the existing contract of Wright which won’t be expiring until August this year.
Terms were not made available, but being the franchise player of the Fuel Masters, it could be a max deal Wright signed.
New acquisition Alex Mallari meanwhile, was given a two-year term, his first with the franchise since being acquired in a trade with NLEX along with big man Dave Marcelo for the no. 4 pick in the last rookie draft.
Also coming to terms with the Fuel Masters is first round pick Jorey Napoles, who inked a one-year pact. A product of Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP), he was the team’s first round pick in the last rookie draft (12th overall).
Wright led the Fuel Masters in scoring last season with 17.6 points a game – third best in the league – while shooting 34 percent from three-point range.
He was also the team’s top assist man (4.54) and no. 1 in steals (eighth in the league), although his 3.06 turnovers a game – and fifth in the league – appeared to be the downside of his game.
The Fuel Masters made the playoffs of the season-ending Governors Cup where they finished as the second seeded team heading into the quarterfinals.
The lack of playoff experience though, took its toll on the team as it was ambushed by the Meralco Bolts despite holding a twice-to-beat advantage.