Wright joins Kyoto

MATTHEW Wright leaves Phoenix to join Kyoto Hannaryz in the Japanese B. League. | Photograph by Rio deluvio for the daily tribune

September 3, 2022

Matthew Wright embarks on a new chapter of his career as he joins Kyoto Hannaryz in the Japanese B. League 2022-2023 season.

After a six-year stint with Phoenix, Wright inked a new deal with the Hannaryz to become the latest Filipino cager that will play as Asian quota import in the top-flight league.

For Wright, he wants to bring a winning culture and a high-level of play he was known for during his stay in the Philippine Basketball Association.

“I am excited to embark on this new journey and looking forward to reuniting with coach Roy Rana,” Wright said in a statement.

“I’m eager to help take this team to the next level and build a winning culture with the organization.”

Selected as part of Gilas special draft in 2016, the Filipino-Canadian sniper quickly built his credibility as a streaky gunner and became the main offensive weapon of the Fuel Masters.

His best season came during the 2020 pandemic season as he and Calvin Abueva steered Phoenix to a semifinal finish in the Philippine Cup.

Wright later became a part of the Mythical Five selection, his most recent accolade after earning two All-Star Most Valuable Player plums in 2017.

The former Gilas Pilipinas standout averaged 15 points, 5.9 assists, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.6 steals in the recent PBA Philippine Cup.

Despite his impressive averages, the Fuel Masters’ failure to make a deep playoff run in the past three conferences became a huge factor on Wright’s decision to go overseas.

Wright will become the third PBA player to take his talent in Japan after Kiefer Ravena of Shiga Lakestars and Ray Parks of Nagoya Diamond Dolphins.

He will also see action against other Filipino imports in Dwight Ramos, Thirdy Ravena and Justine Baltazar.

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