Wright thrilled to start Japan stint

Phoenix’s Matthew Wright scores against Converge defenders during the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, 15 July 2022. Photo by Rio Deluvio / Daily Tribune


September 12, 2022

Matthew Wright is more than excited to see action for Kyoto Hannaryz in the Japan B.League.

The 31-ear-old Filipino-Canadian gunner on  Monday said he is now in the process of undergoing physical examination that will pave the way for his inclusion in the practice session.

Kyoto will open its campaign against Sendai 49ers and Wright is thrilled to prove that it made the right choice in signing him.

“There’s no quarantine so after my physical exam, I’ll be able to practice tomorrow,” said Wright, who joined other Philippine Basketball Association players in making an exodus to Japan.

“I’ve already met my teammates and the coaching staff so I’m really excited to be here. We’ll be able to start on October 1 as our first game.”
Wright has been on Kyoto’s radar since last year.

In fact, the Japanese have been dangling a hefty contract for him to sign, but he still opted to stay with Phoenix in a bid to lead it to the Philippine Cup title.

Last July, he said staying in the PBA remains an option.

But when the Fuel Masters got booted in the quarterfinals of the All-Filipino Conference, Wright made an announcement that he will pack his bags for the Kyoto, which had a subpar 14-43 win-loss record last season.

“Well, it was the worst-kept secret for sure,” Wright said.

“I was open with Phoenix on the idea that B.League had been knocking as early as last year. So, it didn’t come as a surprise.”

Wright said the Fuel Masters had been very accommodating to him during his five-year stint and even supported him in his decision to campaign in Japan.

“I have a lot of respect for the Phoenix Fuel Masters organization,” he said.

“They treated me with the utmost respect and they did everything possible to accommodate me. But I feel like I needed something different, something new, and who wouldn’t want to play in Japan?”

Aside from Wright, also campaigning in Japan are Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, Ray Parks, and Dwight Ramos while Greg Slaughter and Jay Washington signed up recently.

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