PBA: Phoenix Super LPG ready to move forward after Wright's exit

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 04 2022 12:23 PM | Updated as of Sep 04 2022 12:38 PM

Phoenix Super LPG coach Topex Robinson. PBA Images
Phoenix Super LPG coach Topex Robinson. PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines -- Topex Robinson believes Phoenix Super LPG are ready to move forward without Matthew Wright, after the veteran guard bid goodbye to the team last week and signed with a new club in the B.League.

Wright had been their franchise player for six years, but his contract expired at the end of August. Last Friday, he announced that he will now be playing for Kyoto Hannaryz as the latest Filipino cager to become an Asian import in Japan.

"We wanna honor Matt for his six years with us," Robinson said. "When I came in here as the head coach, Matt was there to really support me. We were happy for him."

"This move by Matt wasn't really a surprise for us. Last year pa, nagpaalam naman na siya that he's gonna look at free agency. Kumbaga, there's opportunities out there. And up to the last minute naman, he was there for us," he added.

Wright had committed to playing in the 2022 PBA All-Filipino Cup for Phoenix Super LPG, and Robinson was grateful that the guard kept his word. Nonetheless, even during the conference they were already taking steps to prepare for his departure. 

Phoenix Super LPG traded for Javee Mocon ahead of the conference, while also giving featured roles to young players such as Aljun Melecio and rookie Tyler Tio. These are the players who will now be expected to step up with Wright gone.

"It's something that we've anticipated na rin naman. So slowly, even 'yung last conference namin, we were already moving forward without Matt, and Matt knows that," Robinson explained. 

"'Yun nga ang sabi niya eh. 'For me to really be of help, of service to our team, I will slowly pass the torch to whoever is ready for that'," he added. "And we have guys who are also excited to have that opportunity, like Aljun Melecio."

"Tyler Tio is in a perfect situation right now. Even the guys that we had, si Javee Mocon. So a lot of opportunities for others."

In his final conference with Phoenix Super LPG, Wright averaged 15.0 points, 5.9 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game. They fell short of the playoffs, however, managing just a 3-8 win-loss record.

The Fuel Masters are targeting a better performance in the upcoming Commissioner's Cup, where they will have former Ohio State forward Kaleb Wesson as their reinforcement. 

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