Matthew Wright admits Phoenix simply had no answer to Alaska’s physicality
"Alaska just came in and kicked our ass today." -- Phoenix gunner Matthew Wright
Coming off a promising win over Ginebra last January 26, Phoenix came crashing back to Earth at the hands of the red-hot and physical Alaska squad Wednesday night.
Phoenix simply had no answer for the Aces, submitting to a 93-75 loss to the Calvin Abueva-led squad.
Matthew Wright was the leading scorer for the Fuelmasters, but he did it on a dismal 7/22 shooting clip for 16 points on top of his 11 rebounds, five assists, and five steals.
Still, his better all-around production against Alaska was all for naught, as Phoenix fell to a 2-3 record in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Wright himself explained the loss in simple terms. “Alaska just came in and kicked our ass today,” he said post-game.
The Aces, riding a five-game winning streak that started early January, held the whole Phoenix squad to just 33% shooting, and Wright admitted that the Fuelmasters could not find the answer to Alaska’s physical play.
“They gave us a taste of our own medicine and we weren’t able to respond,” Wright added. “The pressure got to us, the physicality got to us.”
Despite tallying his first double-double of the season, Wright simply owed the loss to the team’s lack of preparation to Alaska's pressure defense.
“Personally, they gave me a lot of problems. They just got into us and they played physical and we weren’t ready for them,” the Filipino-Canadian bared.
Aside from Wright, only two other Phoenix players tallied double digits, veteran shooter Jeff Chan had 14 markers , while rookie Jason Perkins added 12.
The scarcity of help from other teammates just piled on to Alaska’s rejuvenated play, and it spelled doom for Phoenix.
“I felt like guys came in a little flat-footed. I don’t know if it’s the pressure or whatever it was, but we just lacked focus today,” Wright said.
The stunned Phoenix just couldn’t adjust quickly to the transition from defending Ginebra, to trying to stop Alaska.
“Ginebra’s not a physical team, they don’t press, then we went to probably the most physical pressing team. That’s no excuse because we play the same style of offense so we should be used to it,” Wright said. “I guess it was just too much of a contrast between the two games, and weren’t ready for today.”
Still, Wright is still confident of his play, and chalks it all up to experience as Phoenix tries to adjust to the new physical play of the PBA.
“It’s all a lesson, the season’s far from over, all we have to do is adjust to the new calls, the new refereeing, and then bounce back against Talk N’ Text,” he said.