Vanguardia says Wright could use some better defense

Paul Lintag on Dec 21, 2016 09:23 PM
Vanguardia says Wright could use some better defense
"He’s [Vanguardia] very hard on me. Even if I do play good defense, I don’t think he’ll tell me." --- Matthew Wright.

Matthew Wright has been balling for Phoenix in five career games in the PBA. However, his head coach feels that the former ABL star is still capable of more.

The rookie out of the Malaysia Westports Dragons has been averaging 17.2 points in the Philippine Cup so far, including a career-high 22 in a victory over Meralco Wednesday.

But as far as Ariel Vanguardia is concerned, who also coached Wright in the ABL that resulted with a championship, the sharp-shooting swingman could use a little improvement on defense.

"Sa totoo lang, sabi ko kay Matt, hindi pa rin yan yung Matthew Wright na nakilala ko," Vanguardia said.

"Hindi sa opensa, yung depensa niya yung talagang I'm not happy with the way he's playing defense," he added.

Vanguardia has a legit gripe on Wright as he used to have the 25-year-old Fil-Canadian guard opposing imports in the ABL.

With that experience coming into play, the Phoenix mentor sees no reason why his prized recruit can't bring that same defensive intensity in the PBA.

"Sa ABL, I have him guard the other import, so bakit dito hindi niya mabigay yung ganung intensity sa depensa? So buti naman ngayon he came up with some big shots, he came up with some big rebounds," Vanguardia said.

In Wright's defense, he did came up with eight rebounds against Meralco with seven coming on the defensive end. He also had three steals in the contest.

However, he undestands his coach's higher expectations from him.

"He’s very hard on me. Even if I do play good defense, I don’t think he’ll tell me. But that’s completely fine. I’m still only in my sixth game in the PBA and I’m still trying to adjust to the game speed, the way the referees call the game, it’s a lot different, no hand check, it’s tougher for defenders," Wright said.

"Here, the advantage is obviously with the offensive player, so I’m still learning every day, and hopefully next game, I’ll be able to show a better defensive effort," he added.

While Wright has certianly been performing well so far, Vanguardia is still looking for more especially since he put up 23.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.4 assists in the ABL.

"Marami pang ilalabas si Matt," Vanguardia said.



Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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