Matthew Wright believes Phoenix Super LPG has gained enough confidence to produce a strong finish to their elimination round campaign in the PBA Philippine Cup after winning three of their last four games.
The Fuel Masters have moved to eighth place in the team standings at 4-5, boosting their chances of making the quarterfinals after a sour start to the conference dropping three of the first four games.
Phoenix completed the second week of the restart with back-to-back wins, including a 114-92 rout of Blackwater.
Wright said he welcomed the challenge of having to dig deep in order to rebound from a slow start which came after Phoenix acquired some new pieces in the offseason to make up for the loss of Calvin Abueva like Vic Manuel, Chris Banchero and rookie Larry Muyang.
“This conference has been a challenge but I’m sure there’s other guys who are like me on the team that enjoy challenges,” Wright said after scoring 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting against Blackwater.
“I enjoy my back against the wall, because when the pressure is on that’s when you really see who you are as a person and you really see what you’re made of,” added the Fuel Masters’ main gunner.
Things will get tougher for Phoenix, however, with defending champion Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer next on the schedule. These games are going to be crucial in the Fuel Masters’ quest to make it to the last eight.
But Wright is confident that the Fuel Masters can give themselves a good fight to pick up crucial wins over the two juggernauts, given their recent form.
“These next two games against two giants, that could be huge, but at the end of the day it’s just basketball. And they gotta guard us too,” he said. “As good as those teams are, they gotta guard us too.
“I think that we’re slowly picking up momentum. We won three out of four games so far since the restart,” Wright continued, adding that he’s beginning to feel a lot better knocking down shots at the Don Honorio Ventura State University.
Wright was 5-of-33 in the first two matches with Rain or Shine, which came despite making a game-winning jumper, and NLEX.
“I’m starting to finally find my touch in this gym. It took me a while but I felt like today, I finally broke that barrier,” Wright said. “And I’m starting to see our team developing an identity offensively and defensively. So I think we’re moving on the right track, and that’s all I could really hope for.”