By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
Matthew Wright (Courtesy of Japan B-League Facebook)
MANILA – Matthew Wright has joined the Japan Professional Basketball League (B.League), officially signing with Kyoto Hannaryz for the upcoming season, according to an announcement on Friday.
The 31-year-old Filipino-Canadian shooting guard will join forces with former Canadian national team coach Roy Rana as Kyoto looks to bounce back from a subpar 14-43 stint last season.
“I am excited to embark on this new journey and looking forward to reuniting with coach Roy Rana. I’m eager to help take this team to the next level and build a winning culture with the organization. Thank you to all the supporters and I look forward to seeing you at the games,” Wright said in a statement
The new season gets underway on September 29.
Wright, whose contract with Phoenix expired on Wednesday, is the fourth Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) star who made his way to the B.League, joining Kiefer Ravena (NLEX), Ray Parks (TNT), and Greg Slaughter (NorthPort).
“It has been an unforgettable six years with the Fuel Masters. Thank you to all my coaches, teammates, ball boys, and bosses for being a part of this chapter in my life. Most importantly, thank you to all the fans who have supported me through thick and thin. I love you all,” Wright said.
In July, he said the PBA is still an option.
“Teams are interested. I just feel like I need something new and a new change of scenery from Phoenix. No disrespect whatsoever to the organization. It’s been a great organization. I’m really grateful that Phoenix drafted me seven years ago,” Wright told an online news portal. (PNA)