Ginebra’s new import Vernon Macklin looked very impressive in practice, flaunting deadly hooks, strong back-to-the-basket moves, shot-blocking skills, and tenacity in rebounding.
In fact, the jaws of the 6-10 power forward's new teammates almost dropped when he attempted, and barely missed, a daredevil follow-up dunk off his own miss against three defenders.
But nothing is perfect as they say.
In between hard drills, the former Florida Gator would call on the team’s masseur, Rafael Vicera, to tend to his aching legs as they time and again tightened.
Here's a video of him getting his massage between breaks:
Spin.ph even overheard Ginebra coach Alfrancis Chua expressing concern over Macklin's health issues, saying, “Nakupo, kung kailan tayo nakakita ng liwanag ... huwag naman sana.”
But the Portsmouth, Virginia native was quick to allay fears.
“No, they shouldn’t worry. I’ll be a 100 percent on Saturday,” guaranteed Macklin, who blamed the constant tightening on his legs to almost 25 hours of air travel.
“We had a game in the D-League before the All-Star break, I’ve been doing a lot of flying," said Macklin.
Macklin was in Dallas on Friday before he flew to Maine on Saturday, then back to Dallas then to San Francisco to board his plane to Manila.
“Just like my legs are tight, my head feels like it hurts a bit. When I was sleeping last night, I felt some cramps on my legs,” bared Macklin. “But I’ll be fine in the next couple of days."
But here’s something to excite Ginebra fans: Macklin has vowed to give his best to excite the crowd and, more importantly, help Ginebra secure the first win in the one-and-a-half week old tournament.
“I just want everybody, my teammates to know that I'll keep playing hard. I’ll be the guy who will go out there and give my 110 percent. I’ll play hard for the fans," he said.
“Yeah definitely, I go for a lot of tip dunks, my legs are not just 100 percent today... That’s why I missed the tip dunk... But I'm gonna go for more dunks to get the crowd and my teammates up."