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    Vanguardia dreams of seeing a Wright-Brickman reunion in PBA

    Dec 29, 2020
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    MATTHEW Wright and Jason Brickman won a championship together for Westports Malaysia Dragons during their time in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).

    And for the coach who handled the two in the regional league, the two achieving the same success won't be far-fetched if ever a reunion happens in the PBA.

    Ariel Vanguardia would love to see his former stars pair up anew in the PBA, regardless of what team that is.

    "I hope to see him and Matt play together again in the PBA," said Vanguardiam who is now the Blackwater alternate governor.

    Making that happen, however, won't be easy.

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    This early, Brickman is considered as one of the top playmakers in the pool for the next PBA Rookie Draft happening in January.

    For him to end up at Phoenix Super LPG, the Fil-Am guard needs to slide down to 10th in the first round, or for the Fuel Masters to trade up just to secure his services.

    It's a dream scenario, really, yet Vanguardia said that whichever team selects Brickman is guaranteed to have a foundational piece at the point.

    After all, the 5-foot-10 skipper's resume speaks for itself.

    "He is one of only a few Filipinos who had played in Europe and he's really good," Vanguardia said of Brickman, who was one of only four players in NCAA Division I to record 1,000 assists in his time with LIU Brooklyn. He eventually tested his luck in Europe, first for Dynamo Moscow in Russia then with Medi Bayreuth in Germany.

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      "His impact to any team who drafts him will be like a Jason Kidd or a Tony Parker. He's a born leader, a calming presence, and a true point guard armed with his court vision and pinpoint passing."

      The public did see what Brickman can do in the ABL, steering Westports Malaysia to an ABL title while earning Finals MVP honors. He also brought Mono Vampire to the finals of the Asean league.

      He was also poised to do the same for San Miguel Alab Pilipinas this past year, nabbing 8.9 points on 45-percent shooting, to go with 9.1 assists, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.1 steals, before the COVID-19 pandemic cut the season short.

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        Yes, Brickman may be 29 years old now, relatively older compared to his peers, and his citizenship documents have yet to be completed, but Vanguardia assured that any team who selects Brickman won't regret its choice.

        "Wherever he lands, he will certainly make things easier for his teammates," he said.

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        PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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