THANKS to the wonder of Instagram, Reynel Hugnatan feels a rebirth in his playing career.
The undersized big man had a career game right on Meralco’s debut in the PBA Philippine Cup opposite Barako Bull as he pumped in 28 points in the Bolts’ 112-108 double overtime victory over the Energy on Wednesday night.
Hugnatan was quick to credit the new bounce on his 35-year-old legs and body to the works of Unlimited Sports Performance Centre otherwise known as USPC under conditioning coach Nico D’Haenen.
And his love affair with the program all started in the Instagram three months ago.
The 6-foot-4 Meralco power forward said he has seen Instagram photos of PBA players training at USPC in Pasig City, prompting him to inquire and eventually, enroll under D’Haenen.
“Dati pa iyan (USPC) nakikita ko na sa Instagram yan. So nung na-try ko, nagustuhan ko naman. Dun din sila Barroca, Simon, saka John Wilson nag-workout,” Hugnatan said after playing the hero’s role in Meralco’s win that rewarded Norman Black a victory in his coaching debut for the team.
Now entering his 12th season, Hugnatan said there’s no shortcut to career longevity except to work hard and stay disciplined.
“Basta, sipag lang saka maging disiplinado lang lagi. Malaking tulong din yung kay coach Nico sa USPC. Siya ang nagpapa-kundisyon sa akin so mga three months na ako dun,” he added.
And with Black in tow, Hugnatan said the entire Bolts is excited for the brand new season, aware the 11-time champion coach brings the discipline and the winning attitude to a Meralco team which had two ninth place finish last season under former coach Ryan Gregorio.
“Kami ginagawa lang namin ang trabaho namin. Sabi ni coach eh ninth place kami, kaya dapat mag-improve na kami,” he said.
“Na-challenge din kami, pero dahil bagong coach, excited din naman kami dahil maganda ang sistema.”