Hugnatan steps up for semis-bound Bolts
With the opposing defense trying its earnest to limit Arinze Onuaku’s production every game, Meralco has to draw huge contributions from its locals.
And on Monday, it was Reynel Hugnatan who gave the Bolts the huge lift.
The 37-year-old forward teamed up with rookie Chris Newsome in the fourth quarter as they pounced on NLEX and come away with the 104-97 win to advance to the semifinals of the 2016 Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“May mga gameplan naman kami. Pag dino-double si Arinze, sa akin napupunta yung opensa. Pag open, tira lang. Pag wala, extra pass,” he said.
Hugnatan came off the bench and poured in 10 of his 20 points in the payoff period and added seven rebounds.
“Lagi lang akong ready,” he said.
With the Bolts back in the semifinals just like last season, Hugnatan is hopeful his team will have a better showing this time out.
“Sana mas maganda yung resulta ngayon. Opportunity ulit, kaya sana mas maganda yung outcome,” he said, crediting the team’s reinforcement for the huge turnaround Meralco has had.
“Naging motivation sa amin yung unang conference kasi lahat kami disappointed,” he said. “Ngayon, nag-focus talaga kami. Malaking bagay si Arinze sa amin kasi yun talaga ang kulang sa amin kasi wala kaming big guy. Siya ang nagdala sa amin dito at nabibigay nya yung rebounds. Sya ang inaasahan namin. Lahat kami nagtutulungan.”
And Hugnatan wishes the Bolts will finally get over the hump.
“Kung sino man ang makalaban namin, paghahandaan namin kasi sayang ang opportunity eh. Minsan lang mangyari ito,” he said.
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