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Vernon Macklin would love to play in the PBA again

/ 10:51 PM May 19, 2018

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Hitting a pair of clutch free throws to win the game for Magnolia provided the fitting farewell for Vernon Macklin on Friday night.

But it doesn’t seem like Filipino basketball fans had seen the last of Macklin in the PBA.

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The 31-year-old Macklin is well-loved by Filipinos ever since he made his PBA debut with Barangay Ginebra in the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup and led the Gin Kings’ surprise finals run as the seventh seed before losing to No. 1 Alaska in a three-game sweep.

And the adoration for him did not change in his return even if he switched teams.

“Always. Like I said this place always has a special place in my heart,” Macklin told reporters after his freebies with 3.1 seconds left pushed the Hotshots past the Meralco Bolts, 81-79.

“Five years ago, I started with Ginebra, even here, the fans are great, my teammates are awesome, the coaching staff is great, everybody show you love out here so I’m always open to come back here and play in the PBA,” added Macklin, who played his last game for Magnolia before leaving for China to suit up in the National Basketball League.

Before making his PBA return, Macklin had stops in the Chinese Basketball Association, Qatari Basketball League and Korean Basketball League.

In the early part of his professional career, Macklin played one season for the Detroit Pistons in the NBA, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the NBA Developmental League and in the Turkish Basketball Super League.

Macklin averaged 21.0 points on 55 percent shooting from the field and 13.3 rebounds, leading Magnolia to a 3-1 record.

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TAGS: 2018 Commissioner's Cup, China, Magnolia Hotshots, Meralco Bolts, PBA, Philippines, Vernon Macklin
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