It was surprising, to say the least, when many heard that Vernon Macklin’s stint with the Magnolia Hotshots won’t last for the entire 2018 Commissioner’s Cup.
The situation is also hard for the American, who was Ginebra’s import in 2013. But family always come first for him, and that is the main reason why he is set to leave Magnolia for China.
Macklin has a contract with a team in the NBL, a minor league in China.
“I came here with these guys to start the season. I wanted to finish the season with these guys. But I got somebody to take care of, and I got to do some things for my family,” he said.
“It’s a bittersweet situation.”
Macklin is now in his final week in the Philippines and, of course, with the Hotshots. He had played his penultimate game for Magnolia on Wednesday night against the streaking Columbian Dyip.
The 6-foot-10 center played as if making his final days worthwhile. Macklin led the Hotshots’ well-deployed attack with 19 points and eight rebounds en route to the 126-101 triumph.
Macklin was aggressive right from the start, scoring 11 points in the first quarter alone to give the Hotshots a 37-18 lead, which paved the way for a one-sided affair all through out the match.
HIs performance, according to Macklin, is just a testament of his dedication to his team.
“I’m still gonna come out here and play hard.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s the first game or the last game. I’m definitely gonna play hard for my team, for the Hotshots, and for myself,” he said.
Macklin’s final game will be this Friday against the Meralco Bolts, and he cannot wait to lock horns with the Orangemen, especially with somebody he’s been familiar with.
“I’ve known Arinze Onuaku since college. He’s a really good import,” he said.
“But the rest of the guys, we gotta learn them. So I guess we’ll learn tomorrow — I’ll learn tomorrow — about the other guys.”