Matthew Wright embraces ‘new challenges’ with Japan B.League move

Matthew Wright (right) begins his Japan B.League journey with Kyoto. –KYOTO HANNARYZ PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Matthew Wright wanted to step out of his comfort zone that’s why he decided to take his talent to Japan B.League as an import of the Kyoto Hannaryz.

The former PBA player admitted he wanted to take on new challenges in his basketball career after spending the last six years with the Phoenix Fuel Masters.

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“I think it’s going to be a great challenge because I feel like I was getting a little too comfortable in the Philippines being there for six years,” said Wright during his introductory press conference on Thursday. “We didn’t win a lot of games in Phoenix and it was very frustrating and I felt like I needed a change in scenery. And just new challenges for myself.”

Determined to become a better basketball player, the 6-foot-4 winger believes that Kyoto could bring out the best in him as he competes against the Japanese.

“I’m always constantly trying to become a better basketball player, I think that’s the main goal is to always strive for improvement and developing your game. And I felt like joining Kyoto would be the best fit for me,” said Wright. “Who wouldn’t want to play in a country like Japan? And in a city like Kyoto has been an amazing experience so far, I have nothing but good things to say about the city.”

“It’s definitely gonna be a challenge, but challenges are your opportunity to rise to the occasion and get better. This is definitely gonna be very exciting for me,” he added.

The Filipino-Canadian shooter, who was drafted by Phoenix in the special Gilas round in the 2016 PBA Rookie Draft, only had two semifinals appearances, including a Game 5 semis loss to TNT in the 2020 PBA Bubble in Clark.

Playing for an underdog team throughout his basketball career, the 31-year-old is eager to help the Hannaryz rise from their 14-43 record last season.

“The mentality and the approach doesn’t change. You know, you’re always we want to keep that fire. You know, that’s what got me here. You have to stay true to yourself. So that’s not going to change,” Wright said. “I feel like, at least in my basketball career dating all the way from high school, college to pros, I’ve always been on the team that wasn’t necessarily the best team.”