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    ‘Papa’ Rey Hugnatan calls it a career, joins Meralco coaching staff

    Hugnatan, 44, set to retire after almost two decades of pro ball
    May 13, 2023
    Reynel Hugnatan Meralco
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

    AFTER almost two decades of playing, veteran big man Reynel Hugnatan is finally hanging up his jersey.

    Reynel Hugnatan retirement

    The 6-foot-4 Hugnatan will be retired for the coming PBA 48th season, but is set to join the Meralco coaching staff now under new mentor Luigi Trillo.

    Hugnatan, 44, was offered by Meralco management to become part of the Bolts’ coaching staff who will be in charge of training the team’s big men.

    Trillo made the disclosure during the Power&Play program of former PBA commissioner Noli Eala on Saturday.

    “Papa Rey Hugnatan will be joining us as part of the coaching staff. He’s no longer playing,” said Trillo.

    The Meralco coach said it was part of management’s decision to have Hugnatan joining him and the rest of the coaching staff on the bench.

    “He does his work well, he’s professional, and he’ll be helping our players out,” said Trillo.

    A product of the University of Manila, Hugnatan was a first-round pick of Coca-Cola in the 2003 draft at no. 9 overall.



      After playing for almost two seasons with the Tigers, he joined Alaska where he first played under Trillo, who was a deputy back then by former coach Tim Cone.

      While he won championships with both Coke and Alaska, Hugnatan played majority of his career for Meralco, where he played a total of 11 seasons and was part of the four runner-up finishes of the franchise in the 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2022 Governors Cup.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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