NBA veteran Antoine Wright, who belongs to the talent-rich 2005 draft class is set to reinforce injury-hit Rain or Shine for the Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Listed at 6-foot-7 in the NBA, the 32-year-old Wright will be arriving at dawn Sunday via Philippine Airlines from Los Angeles.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said the former Texas A&M alumn though is a game-time decision against Barangay Ginebra on Sunday given the tight schedule he has when he lands in Manila.
“Darating siya (Wright) pero madaling araw pa bukas (Sunday). But we will tell him to suit up just in case he can play, but if not, we’re ready to play all-Filipino,” Guiao confided to FOX Sports on Saturday.
Wright, the New Jersey Nets’ 15th overall pick in the 2005 Draft, is in the company of big-name NBA talents during that year that included current Golden State starting center Andrew Bogut, Atlanta Hawks’ Marvin Williams, Deron Williams and Los Angeles Clippers playmaker Chris Paul.
Guiao though downplayed Wright’s impressive draft status in the NBA, saying their incoming reinforcement still has to show his wares first in the PBA.
“First-rounder siya sa NBA pero naging journeyman din,” said Guiao, whose new recruit will be filling in for the spot of injured Wayne Chism (torn hamstring muscle).
“Pero siguro para maging first-rounder ka sa NBA, may ibig sabihin din, though alam naman nating marami ring mga talent talaga sa NBA,” he added.
Wright, who played three seasons with the New Jersey Nets, also had stops with the Dallas Mavericks, Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings before playing overseas in China, Spain, Venezuela and Israel as of late.
He also suited up for the Reno Bighorns in the NBA D-League where he owned career averages of 13.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.3 steal in 29 games overall.
Guiao describes Wright as a natural 4 who has a decent touch from the outside and likes to run.
“He can handle the ball because he’s a wingman, but he’s not as big and as strong as (Meralco import Arinze) Onuaku or (Phoenix import Kenny) Adeleke. Parang Wayne Chism din style niya,” explained Guiao. – By Richard Dy
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