REYNEL Hugnatan went through his usual business, days after he was tagged in a controversy in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.
The 42-year-old Hugnatan scored a team-high 19 points on Wednesday while draining the go-ahead jumper for Meralco on their way to an 83-80 win to force a rubber match in their best-of-five semifinal series.
Hugnatan’s play came after he was wrongfully accused of being the person who said “Ref, lutong luto ‘to ah” in Game Three of the series which was heard loud and clear by the live audience on TV and online.
But Meralco coach Norman Black insisted that the team’s focus, including Hugnatan's, is to just win Game Four.
Black said there was no signs that Hugnatan was affected by the issue or even extra motivated to bounce back for Wednesday’s match.
“Got to be honest with you, we haven’t talked about that. It’s not our focus. (Our focus) is just on the game,” the Meralco coach said.
“Reynel has not said a word to me about that since it happened and I haven’t talked to him about it either,” said Black during the postgame press conference. “It’s kinda a non-issue as far as we are concerned.”
Hugnatan buried the long two with his foot just barely stepping in the rainbow arc after he received the pass from Chris Newsome inside. Black said the play was indeed for Newsome and Hugnatan and both players delivered.
“That’s a huge shot for Reynel Hugnatan,” said Black.
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