Matthew Wright open to PBA return but not in near future
MANILA, Philippines–Matthew Wright is not closing his doors on a PBA comeback.
“I’d like to finish my career here someday,” the former Phoenix cornerstone told reporters shortly after the Fuel Masters’ tight 99-98 win over Rain or Shine at Ynares Center in Antipolo on Saturday.
Wright is one of the several national team players who are currently plying their trade in Japan. He is currently with the Kyoto Hannaryz, a club in the B.League’s top division.
A Filipino-Canadian who traces his Asian roots through his Tarlac-born mother, Wright is keen on returning to Asia’s pioneering pro league. But that won’t happen anytime soon as he is looking to play in the Land of the Rising Sun as long as he can.
“It’s a great league, it’s growing and I think it’s gonna be the best league in Asia within the next two or three years, or maybe sooner,” he said.
“But I still keep track of the PBA, still keep track of the guys,” he added.
Wright played a total of six seasons and has formed friendships and acquired assets in the Philippines. He will soon turn 33 with plenty of basketball left to play as far as age is concerned. His return to PBA, though, will still start where it last ended—with Phoenix.
The PBA has since softened its stance towards PBA veterans who have opted to bring their talents elsewhere. Originally, the league required a player to return within two years free of repercussions. Failure to do so, however, will trigger a three-year sit-out.
The PBA leadership’s summit in Paris, France, last May has led to the lifting of this draconian provision with PBA veterans now just bound to their previous mother clubs.
“I’m still technically under contract with Phoenix. If I choose to come back to the PBA, they still own my rights. So we’ll see what happens to Phoenix in the next couple of years,” said Wright, who helped the petrol club to a semifinal appearance in the Philippine Cup bubble tournament.
“I know there are rumors of them being purchased,” he said, alluding to the financial troubles recently hounding its mother company. “But we’ll see. That’s all noise for now, you never know what’ll happen,” Wright said.