Reynel Hugnatan said his newfound confidence to shoot three-pointers was due to the green light he got from Meralco coach Norman Black.
The left-handed Hugnatan, known for his pirouette moves from just inside the shaded lane since his early years in the PBA, displayed his impeccable shooting from beyond the arc on Saturday.
“Hindi ko nga alam paano pumasok yun eh (three-point shots). Sabi ni coach, i-spread niya ako, so kapag open ka, shoot it,” Hugnatan shared to media men, moments after sparking Meralco’s 119-113 win over TNT to move within a win of booking a first-ever Finals ticket in franchise history.
Black said the 37-year-old Hugnatan has been Meralco’s no. 1 three-point shooter in practice. The multi-titled coach said Hugnatan’s sweet spot is the top of the key three.
But on Saturday, the former University of Manila forward showed his range from a different angle, knocking down back-to-back triples from the corner in a decisive 15-6 endgame run to secure the victory.
“Mabuti nung time na yun, tumatama naman yung mga three points ko. Tira na lang ng tira pag open,” he said.
But the ninth overall pick in the 2003 PBA Draft said they can’t be too excited with their victory in Game 3, considering that TNT has the experience and will surely bounce back strong next Monday.
“Siyempre may isang game pa. So dapat, ano man ang ginawa namin ngayon, iigihan pa namin kasi alam natin TNT yan eh. So magpe-prepare yun,” he added. – Richard Dy
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