Conscious effort to involve older teammates brings Matthew Wright close to his first PBA triple-double
Rookie Matthew Wright had a triple-double back in college and fell an assist short of his first one in Phoenix's win over NLEX on Wednesday night. Jerome Ascano

MATTHEW Wright admitted he was gunning for a triple-double after learning he was one assist shy of the rare feat in Phoenix’s 102-91 win over NLEX in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night.

The Fuel Masters rookie forward registered 12 points, 12 boards, and nine assists in 33 minutes as a starter.

Initially, Wright, coming in leading rookies in scoring at 18.7 a game, said he simply had a conscious effort to involve his teammates, especially the veterans, more this time.

“Yeah, especially the older guys, who take a little bit longer to get going,” said Wright, who turns 26 on February 7. “They’re not as young and as spry as me and Simon (Enciso), and Norbert (Torres), but they need little bit of a nudge here and there.”

“So I made a point of emphasis to get guys like JC (Intal), get Willy (Wilson) back – I’m glad that he finally had a good game from recovering from his sickness, and Cyrus (Baguio) showed signs of old Skyrus, and Chico (Lanete) as well was a big lift for us.”

“It’s good to have individual scoring games, but when you have a lot more weapons, you’re a lot more dangerous, and today, I felt there were multiple guys who had big games,” he continued. “And that’s makes us hard to beat.”

[See Wright comes an assist, turnover short of an odd quadruple-double]

But when asked if he was aware he had already dished out nine assists, Wright answered in the positive.

 “Subconsciously, yeah,” the St. Bonaventure product admitted. “It would’ve been my second career triple-double. I had one back in college, so that’s a feat that you always want to try to get, but mostly I was just trying to make the right play.”

Wright was even a turnover away from of notching an odd quadruple-double.

“I knew about the turnovers,” Wright said. “Coach is very hard on me. Whatever the opposite of a silver lining, he’ll tell me what I did bad, so he told me about the turnovers, so I tried to make up for it. I can’t take them back, so the only thing I can do is to make up for it with steals, blocks, rebounds, whatever.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos