MATTHEW Wright’s injured ankle remains as painful as it was when he hurt it in Game One of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.
But pain won't be a barrier for this Phoenix hero.
On Sunday, Wright was back in a leadership role for Phoenix, scoring 23 points including the dagger jumper as the Fuel Masters took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five semifinal series after a 92-89 win over TNT.
Though Wright looked good on the floor, Phoenix coach Topex Robinson said the pain in the ankle of the team’s top gunner has not really subsided. But the MVP candidate is ready to play through the pain, he added.
“His ankle is still the same. It’s still swollen. Masakit pa rin,” said Robinson. “Sabi niya nga, 'If I’m not going to play now, when will I play?' Sabi niya, his ankle can wait after this bubble.”
Wright got an opportunity to rest his foot as Phoenix didn’t practice on Saturday and focused on drawing up strategies for Game Three.
With the series tied at 1-1, Wright knew it was not the time for excuses.
“At this time, he cannot let his team down. The team needs him and he knows he needs to be there. He could make an excuse not to play but he let it go and just said he is going to let it fly,” the Phoenix coach said.
“Matthew just said to me that he doesn’t care if he has a bad ankle or not. He will not let it give him an excuse para hindi siya mag-perform. He just said ‘Just call my name,’ and if I’m ready, I’ll just contribute.
"That’s what Matthew is, not letting go of this opportunity and this platform to inspire a lot of people,” Robinson added.