B1 ROUND 12 Game 1: December 17, 2022
KYOTO HANNARYZ 85 - 92 SAN-EN NEOPHOENIX
B1 ROUND 12 Game 2: December 18, 2022
KYOTO HANNARYZ 65 - 73 SAN-EN NEOPHOENIX
(Matthew Wright: MW) Well, we've played against some good teams on the road, especially during that trip. The OKINAWA and TOKYO ALVARK trip was tough. Those are really good teams and we just have to continue to stay together. Don't panic, don't think negatively. We've been right there for a lot of games, close games. Today was a close game also and just a matter of focus. And we have a new import also. So this week will be important for us to start to jell as a team more and hopefully I'll be back so our team will be in full strength for this weekend against TOYAMA.
(MW) I was just trying to reiterate the defensive and offensive assignments from Coach. Just trying to keep them positive. Sometimes we were hanging our heads and I am just trying to uplift their spirits and there's not really much I could do, so just be positive and encouraging on the bench.
(MW) Well, Coach was trying to give us what we're doing wrong defensively to try to adjust, to guard assignments, offense. And he was also trying to get us organized to play against their zone, which was a problem for us in these two games. Their zone gave us a lot of issues offensively.
(MW) The doctor said two to three weeks, but I think I'm going to be back by the TOYAMA game, which is this coming weekend. So I'll start to practice on Tuesday.
(MW) No advice at all. Yoshi is my guy, man. That's one of my good friends on the team. He's a young player. This is his first real starting job as a point guard. He's doing a great job passing the ball and scoring. What people don't know is that he's very banged up. There's a lot of injuries. Teams really play physical with him, and he's not playing at 100%, so sometimes it's really tough on him. But he's a tough kid, and he's never complaining or making excuses about his injuries. He just goes out there and plays. And I know that once he gets fully healthy and we fix some things offensively, I think we're going to be back on track.
(MW) The toughest team so far. I think UTSUNOMIYA BREX was tough. Definitely. They're returning champions. They play physical, but they play very slow. So it's almost like a slow torture when you play against them. They're very deliberate. They don't rush, and they have great players, veteran players and shooters, and their bigs are very physical. So there's been a lot of teams, too. ALVARK was very good also, and RYUKYU was a very strong team. But the physicality is the difference between all those teams that I mentioned was UTSUNOMIYA. You physically felt sore after the games more than the other teams.
(MW) It was very heartwarming. Filipino fans are very passionate basketball fans, as everyone knows, and it pains me to sit on the bench and not be able to play today. I know I was really looking forward to this day to put on the show for my fellow Filipinos. And you know, I'm disappointed that I didn't I couldn't play and have them in front of them to watch me. But I'm glad that they came out, especially in the holiday season. It's very cheerful and they got to see a good game today and hopefully they'll be able to come to more games.
(MW) I couldn't play today. I really wanted to perform in front of you guys, but hopefully I'll be able to see you guys soon at other games. And I can speak for all the other Filipinos who are here in the B League. We just want to express our gratitude for all the support you guys have given us. We know it's tough for OFW's to be alone in another country, away from their families, and we're experiencing the same things to a certain degree. So we really do this for you guys. And to see you guys out there supporting us, showing up at the games with your positive comments on social media, it really warms our spirits and it makes us want to fight even harder. And from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I wish everyone happy holidays and stay safe, stay healthy.