05 October 2016

PotW: Reynel Hugnatan Willing Father Time

Reynel Hugnatan
Who would have expected that Reynel Hugnatan would be the most consistent player in the league during the semi-final matches. He has always been known for his mid-range game and excellent footwork at the post when he was young, but after 13-years he is turning the wheels of time.

In Game Three of Meralco’s PBA Governors Cup best-of-five semifinal series against top seed Talk 'N Text Katropa, the 6-foot-4 veteran forward unveiled a new trick in his sleeves and it comes in the form of his deadly shooting from the three-point zone.

The ninth overall pick in the 2003 PBA Draft went 5-of-6 from the arc, including two crucial shots from the corner during a dizzying 15-6 run to lead the Bolts to a stunning 119-113 win against the Katropa on Saturday.

It was the second straight win for Meralco in three days as the Bolts grabbed a surprise 2-1 series lead, leaving TNT on the brink of elimination.

Meralco finished TNT last 3 October behind Cliff Hodge career high 32 points to win Game Four, 94-88, to book its first-ever finals trip in franchise history. But it was the consistency of Hugnatan that was most apparent in the series.

The 37-year-old from Bacolod averaged 16.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in the team's back-to-back wins in the semifinals to earn the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of 26 September to 2 October.

"He’s (Hugnatan) actually a pretty good three-point shooter, but I didn't know that till I started putting the big men through some three-point shooting drills and he'll end up no. 1 everyday," Black said of his evergreen power forward.

"But he was given the green light to shoot when he's open. The only thing I asked him is that he takes the three-point shot from the top of the key, but he made a lot from the side (in Game Three)," he added.

Hugnatan, a 13-year PBA veteran beat Meralco teammate and rookie wingman Chris Newsome, San Miguel Beer gunner Marcio Lassiter and Barangay Ginebra big man Japeth Aguilar for the weekly citation.

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