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Wright’s bid for best player of PBA bubble hits snag

 

WRIGHT (center). (PBA Images)

WRIGHT (center). (PBA Images)

By JONAS TERRADO

The injury of Matthew Wright may have changed the complexion of the race for the best player of the PBA bubble.

With Wright slowed down by an ankle problem, Ray Parks Jr., Stanley Pringle, and Jason Perkins have been making their case through two play dates of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals inside Smart Clark Giga City.

Parks averaged 29 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.5 steals after two games of TNT’s series with Wright’s Phoenix Super LPG, highlighted by a 41-point, 10-triple output in Friday’s 110-103 loss in Game 2.

Though held in check by Meralco in the 95-77 defeat in Game 2, Pringle remains one of Ginebra’s most productive players with averages of 14 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 steals in their own semifinal affair.

Perkins continues to play well for Phoenix in the ongoing Final Four, posting 18 points and seven rebounds going into Game 3.

The semifinals could turn out to be a referendum for Wright, Parks, Pringle, and Perkins when the time comes for the league to hand out the award which is still being determined.

It is still unsure if the top player of the bubble will be handed out to Best Player of the Conference or the Most Valuable Player plum since the season was cut short to one tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PBA did reveal that Wright led the league in Statistical Points in the elimination round with 39.5. Those numbers didn’t include his performance in Phoenix’s quarterfinal win over Magnolia where he hit the game-winning triple in the final seconds.

Wright, however, has played a total of just 22 minutes in the first two games of the semis after injuring his right ankle in Phoenix’s 95-92 loss in Game 1 last Wednesday.

He suffered the injury when Wright stepped on the foot of TNT’s Troy Rosario following a made basket early in Game 1, prompting him to sit out the rest of the contest. Wright did play in Game 2 and scored just two points in 15 minutes.

Also doing well with their all-around performances are Phoenix’s Calvin Abueva and Ginebra’s Scottie Thompson.

Abueva has logged 16.5 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, and 1.5 steals in the semis while Thompson put up 12.5 points,  nine rebounds, 6.5 assists, and 1.5 steals for Ginebra.

Thompson is among those who made the top 10 of the Statistical Points derby, placing ninth entering the playoffs, while Abueva was not a part of the list after failing to play a minimum of 70 percent of the eliminations. Abueva will reach the 70 percent limit provided he plays Games 3 and 4 or if Phoenix advances to the finals.

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