Matthew Wright takes his act to Japan, signs with Kyoto Hanaryz
MANILA, Philippines — Matthew Wright opens a new chapter of his career in Japan as he signed with Kyoto Hanaryz ahead of the 2022-23 B.League season, which opens in October.
Kyoto on Friday announced the signing of the 31-year-old shooting guard, who recently kissed the Phoenix Fuel Masters goodbye after playing in the PBA for six years.
Wright is excited to get a fresh start in his basketball career, joining Hanaryz Canadian coach Roy Rana.
“I am excited to embark on this new journey and looking forward to reuniting with coach Roy Rana. I’m eager to help take this team to the next level and build a winning culture with the organization. Thank you to all the supporters and I look forward to seeing you at the games,” said the Filipino-Canadian in a statement.
The 6-foot-4 winger is returning to the global basketball stage since starting his professional career in France from 2014-15 and playing for Malaysia Dragons, before getting drafted by Phoenix in 2016 as a special Gilas pick.
— 京都ハンナリーズ (@kyotohannaryz) September 2, 2022
The former Gilas player averaged 15.0 points on 30-percent shooting from deep, 5.9 assists, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.6 steals in his final stint with the Fuel Masters, who placed 11th with a 3-11 record in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup.
Wright looks to boost Kyoto, which finished 19th with a 14-43 card tied with Kiefer Ravena’s Shiga in the previous season.
Wright is joining ex-PBA players Ravena, Bobby Ray Parks Jr. of Nagoya, and Greg Slaughter of Division 2’s Fukuoka in taking their talents to Japan.
Nine Filipino players are set to play in the B.League including Thirdy Ravena of San-En NeoPhoenix, Dwight Ramos of Levanga Hokkaido, and Justine Baltazar of Hiroshima Dragonflies as well as second division imports Kobe Paras of Altiri Chiba and Jordan Heading of Nagasaki.