THINGS can’t get any better for Phoenix as top rookie Matthew Wright returns to action and plays against Globalport in their PBA Governors Cup encounter Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Fuel Masters are off to a good start in the season-ending meet even in the absence of the 26-year-old Wright, who suited up for Gilas Pilipinas and played a key role in the national team’s fourth place finish in the 39th Jones Cup, which ended last Sunday.
The team is currently tied with Meralco and NLEX at the top with identical 2-0 (win-loss) record.
The Fuel Masters edged the Alaska Aces, 95-93, behind the game-winning basket at the buzzer of import Eugene Phelps to register the first 2-0 start in the young franchise’s history.
And chances of extending the record further looks very bright especially with Wright back in the lineup and suiting up in Phoenix’s 7 p.m. match against Globalport.
Wright immediately joined the Fuel Masters in practice a day after arriving with the national team from Chinese Taipei.
But despite the return of Phoenix’s top scorer in its lineup, coach Ariel Vanguardia is not looking past the Batang Pier, who will be parading a new import in Murphy Holloway.
Holloway, from Immo, South Carolina, was Globalport’s original choice for an import prior to Jabril Trawick, but was not available as the tournament was about to kick off.
When finally he was, the Batang Pier made the signing right away especially after the three-point, four-rebound effort Trawick did in the team’s 98-96 loss to Rain or Shine in its debut game last week.
Holloway, 27, was officially measured at 6-4 13/16 at the PBA office on Saturday.
“We got to be sharp on the court adjustments since Globalport has a new import,” said Vanguardia.
“The first two games, we played wing imports,” said the Phoenix mentor, referring to KIA’s Markeith Cummings and LaDontae Henton of Alaska.
“This time it’s a big man in Holloway. I think he complements (Terrence) Romeo and (Stanley) Pringle well.”
An inside presence is what the Batang Pier are lacking, according to team manager Bonnie Tan, which the team hopes will be ably filled in by its new import.
“Puno na kasi kami sa wings with Terrence and Stanley around,” said the soft-spoken Globalport official. “Yung may laro sa loob talaga ang need namin, which hopefully, Holloway can provide us.”