Hard work pays off for Wright

Bandera (Visayas) - - NEWS -

LUCENA — As much as he’s proud to have been named the MVP for the second straight leg of the 2017 PBA All-Star Week, Matthew Wright takes more pride knowing that he has made a good account of himself with Gilas Pilipinas.

“I’m just grateful in participating in this All-Star activity. A lot of guys could’ve won this time, so I’m just lucky it was my day today,” said the Phoenix rookie Wright. “Coming off an injury, I was trying to get my stride, wasn’t really a hundred percent playing, but my ankle’s getting stronger.

Wright averaged 18.5 points on 58 percent shooting from the field including 7-of12 clip from threes, and 5.5 assists, 2.5 steals, and 2.0 rebounds off the bench through the first two legs of the midseason extravaganza.

Those numbers put him on the pedestal as he shared the honors with Troy Rosario in Cagayan de Oro before taking the hardware in Lucena.

Fortunately for Wright, his efforts didn’t go in vain as national coach Chot Reyes included him in the roster for the upcoming 2017 SEABA Championship in May, being one of the three rookies together with Jio Jalalon and Roger Pogoy to make the cut.

“I’ve been working hard all month ever since we went to Tagaytay. I put pressure on myself to be in this team and hard work pays off. That’s all I could say,” he said.

“I’m just gonna do what I’ve been doing since I was 10 years old. I’m just gonna play off instinct. I’ll continue to learn the offense, continue to learn my teammates, and see where I can flourish on offense, and just get to build camaraderie,” he said. “In the last two games we played in the All-Star, you see us develop as a team and get better. Even though we’re a young team, we showed a lot of heart coming out — coming back from double-digits in the third quarter. I’m very proud of our guts for that.” — Inquirer.net Almazan vows to go

all out for Gilas LUCENA — Raymond Almazan has always been vocal about donning the national colors.

Offering his services back then, the lanky big man was content on helping Gilas Pilipinas even just as a practice player.

But on Friday, the Rain or Shine center was more than just that as he was tapped in coach Chot Reyes’ 12-man lineup for the upcoming 2017 SEABA Championship next month.

And Almazan’s emotions couldn’t be contained with the announcement, saying, “Even then that I was called to be a practice player, I was already so happy. What more now that I’m part of the lineup. I’m really very happy.”

The former Letran stalwart believes that his selection into the SEABA 12 is a culmination of the effort he put in since being named in the national team pool.

“The coaches see all the work we put in, so if you’re really working hard, you shouldn’t be scared that you won’t be included in the lineup,” he said.

Now that he’s a part of the Gilas 12 for the regional tournament, Almazan vowed to give his all. — Inquirer.net

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