MANILA, Philippines – Joel Wright admitted he should have kept his composure after his unsportsmanlike foul practically cost Rain or Shine a win against TNT in the PBA Governors' Cup on Saturday, September 28.
The Elasto Painters trailed the KaTropa 86-92 with 4 minutes left before Wright was slapped with a flagrant foul penalty 1 for intentionally tripping Troy Rosario after they both battled for a rebound.
Wright was forced to sit for 3 minutes and TNT capitilized on his absence as it rode on a decisive 11-2 run en route to the 103-91 victory.
"I mean there's no excuses. I just got to play better. I don't got none on the team or nobody but I just got to play better," said Wright, who still finished with 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals.
"Just got to keep my composure more and I just got to play better."
The loss dropped Rain or Shine to 1-2.
"I should be out there with my team helping my team. I shouldn't be on the bench in the last 3 minutes down 6. That was definitely big time," Wright added.
Wright, though, felt he was hit by Rosario during the rebounding joust.
"Before I got the ejection I got a whole hit in my face. He elbowed me in my mouth. That's dirty. You don't play like that," he said.
"I saw a lot of dirty stuff going on but I guess it's where I'm at – I'm an import so I guess they got to protect their players here."
"There were a lot of dirty plays that's going on and it gets annoying as you play the whole game. But I just got to play better. That's all," Wright reiterated.
For his part, Rosario clarified he was just plainly going for the ball and he did not mean to hurt Wright.
"It wasn't my intention if I hit him. And as far as I know, I didn't hit him," Rosario told reporters in Filipino.
Wright will look to redeem himself when Rain or Shine faces defending champion Magnolia at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, October 4. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.