BOCAUE, BULACAN — Meralco big man Reynel Hugnatan knows his career is near its end and is simply making the most of it.
Just days away from his 39th birthday, the Bacolod native once again became the unlikely hero as Meralco withstood a do-or-die situation by beating Ginebra, 98-91, in Game Six of the PBA Governors Cup Finals.
The pony-tailed Meralco veteran scored 24 points including six three-pointers as he staked a claim to the Finals MVP trophy heading to the winner-take-all match on Friday at the Philippine Arena.
“Syempre tumatanda na rin tayo, opportunity na sa akin ito eh," said Hugnatan. "Hindi natin alam kailan magpa-Finals pa ang Meralco, kumbaga may chance kami na makuha namin."
The 14-year veteran said a first-ever championship for Meralco could be the crowning glory of his career.
“Sa Meralco kasi, kung makuha namin (ang championship), first time sa franchise ito eh,” said Hugnatan, who also had a big performance in Game Three of the best-of-seven series.
Hugnatan admitted that it takes a lot more effort for a player his age to prepare for a series of this magnitude.
But the man is up for it.
“Ako naman kasi hindi naman ako nagpapabaya sa kundisyon, lagi naman akong ready,” he said. “Sabi nga nila kapag tumatanda laging kundisyon dapat kasi mga bata na ang kaharap mo, ang kalaban mo.”