Wright slowed down by tired legs in Mahindra debut
Mahindra coach Chris Gavina liked the effort he saw in his new import Keith Wright, who made his PBA debut on Wednesday.
Gavina, though, knows Wright has yet to show his true form after arriving in Manila just two days ago as a replacement for James White.
“He was able to provide us a low post presence. I think it was kind of an adjustment period for the shooters, who were not used to getting kickouts,” Gavina told reporters after the Floodbuster’s 97-83 loss to the surging Star Hotshots. “I think Keith did a hell of job just fighting through tired legs having just come here two days ago and having just one practice with us and having to play the extended minutes he had to play.”
“He was frustrated today considering he knows that he didn’t provide the production we needed to pull out this win but his efforts and intelligence showed today, the way he handled double teams in the post was great,” he added.
Wright, the 2011 Ivy League Player of the Year out of Harvard, posted 17 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks in close to 43 minutes of action.
The 27-year-old big man, who spent the last three years in the NBA D-League before suiting up in the PBA, admitted he wasn’t able to contribute the kind of numbers he was expected of in his first game with his new team.
“It was a tough one, missed a lot of easy shots around the rim. I’m just getting my legs back I just got [here] two days ago,” he said. “I really felt the plane ride in the second half, missing a lot of shots around the rim that I usually make. I know the shots are there, they’ll fall in the next game. Just got to get my rest and get back to it.”
Gavina praised Wright for fighting through the adversity but said he wants to see more production from him in the coming games.
“Ideally, you want your import get 30 and 20 but he’s fighting jet lag and tired legs and there’s also adjustment period for him with regard to our system, our plays and as well as his teammates,” Gavina, whose squad dropped to 1-4, said.
“So for me, honestly, when he gets his legs he’s one of those guys who’s gonna demand some sort of defensive scheme in the long run and I think it’s gonna work for us in the long run.”
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