New 5K-point club member Hugnatan stays optimistic as NLEX win dims Meralco playoff hopes
Reynel Hugnatan became the 20th among active players, 84th all-time among locals, and 88th overall to be part of the 5,000-point club. Marlo Cueto

MERALCO’s 87-85 loss to NLEX in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night spolied Reynel Hugnatan’s individual milestone achievement.

The veteran stretch forward joined the 5,000-point club, becoming the 20th among active players, 84th all-time among locals, and 88th overall to be part of the distinguished scoring list.

Coming into the game just three points away from joining the club, Hugnatan finished with 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting, on top of two assists, and zero turnover in 25 minutes as a starter.

“Bihira lang yun (mapasama sa 5K-point club),” Hugnatan said. “Blessed akong makasama ako doon. I think siguro, disiplina lang yung sikreto. Kumbaga sa mga pagkain mo, sa exercise. Laging hard work, kumbaga wag mong pababayaan yung katawan mo.”

“I’m happy,” the 15-year veteran added. “Kumbaga, happy na ako sa career ko, kumbaga, naabot ko na yung 5,000. Blessed na ako siguro umabot ako sa ganito, tapos nakaabot pa ko sa 5,000 points.”

The milestone, however, came at a time the Bolts gave up an early 18-point lead and lost to the Road Warriors no thanks to Kiefer Ravena’s heroics.

“Oo nga eh, ung last shot ni Kiefer. Sa kanila talaga iyon,” Hugnatan said. “Wala eh, wala na kaming magagawa doon, pumasok eh andon naman yung depensa. ‘Di talaga para sa amin.”

As a result, the Bolts lost for the sixth time in eight games to put their playoff bid in jeopardy.

“Wala eh, ganun talaga. We just have to keep working lang,” Hugnatan said. “We still have three games left. We’ll see kung anong mangyayari.”

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