Meralco’s Reynel Hugnatan understands why fans were quick to point him as the one who uttered the controversial remarks that were heard during the live broadcast of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal game against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel last Sunday.
Fans on social media were quick to name Hugnatan as the member of the Meralco squad that shouted, “Ref, lutong-luto ah” early in the fourth quarter of Ginebra’s 91-84 win at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.
Read: ‘Ref, lutong luto ‘to ah’: Who made the allegation that was heard loud and clear in live broadcast?
The words were heard loud and clear in One Sports’ broadcast seconds before Hugnatan was seen arguing his case after being called for a technical foul for continuous complaining, which led many to believe that it was him who made the comments.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial decided to let the matter go since there was no clear evidence as to which member of the Bolts contingent is the culprit.
Appearing on teammate Jammer Jamito’s vlog Tuesday, Hugnatan sees where the fans, particularly those rooting for Ginebra, are coming from.
“Siyempre di naman natin sila masisisi kasi mga fans sila ng kabilang team,” Hugnatan told Jamito. “Siyempre ganun talaga, susuportahan mo talaga team mo kahit hindi ka sure na anu ba yung totoo dun.
“Pero kung team mo yun, bahala na. Kung baga diba, ano masabi nila, ok na yun,” Hugnatan also said.
The 17-year veteran, however, hopes that fans would be more discerning instead of being too emotional.
“Sana kung bago sila magsabi, magsalita or gumawa, mag-isip muna sila ng ilang seconds. Inhale, exhale. Minsan kasi kahit di mo gustong sabihin, nasasabi mo e,” added Hugnatan.
The controversy is something Hugnatan and the rest of the Bolts have preferred to put in the past as they’re aiming to push Ginebra to a deciding fifth game of their semis series Wednesday afternoon.
Game 5 is set on Friday should Meralco extend its Cinderella run that saw the franchise reach the Philippine Cup semis for the first time ever.
But another loss would keep Ginebra unbeaten against Meralco in all of their four playoff meetings since 2016 while advancing to the finals for the sixth time under the tenure of coach Tim Cone.