ONE familiar face awaits new Ginebra import Vernon Macklin right in his first foray in the PBA.
And he happens to be no less than reigning Commissioner’s Cup Best Import Denzel Bowles.
The 6-foot-10 native of Porstmouth, Virginia admitted having known the San Mig Coffee reinforcement, whom he refers to as an old friend who he grew up with in the same area in Chatham, Virginia.
“We actually have been playing on the same level. I know him … but haven’t seen him play lately,” Macklin bared to Spin.ph. “But yeah, we play about the same. Play hard. Give energy. Rebound.”
Asked if he can give Bowles, who’s returning for another tour of duty with the Mixers, a run for the Best Import award, Maclin smiled and said, “I could play harder and see what happens. I am not one of the guys who do a lot of talk. I just show mine on the court.”
Macklin, who’s taking over the spot of the ineffective Herbert Hill, and Bowles will have their initial on-court encounter on March 10 when the Kings battle the defending champion Mixers at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
On prospect of finally ending Ginebra’s five-year title drought, the 26-year-old former Georgetown and University of Florida stalwart said he’s definitely looking at it as `the main target.’
“That’s the aim, I came here to help them get that. Hopefully, we’d be successful.”
Although he’s coming over at a time the Kings are sporting a 0-3 (win-loss) card, Macklin claims he feels no pressure.
“I don’t feel no pressure, I know a lot of great fans would want to see a great team win ... They just want to get going and cheer on,” said Macklin, who once played a back-up role with current Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert during his two-year stint with the Hoyas.
Selected by the Detroit Pistons (52nd overall) during the 2011 NBA draft, Macklin is aware how huge the fan base of Ginebra in the country.
“It was great, actually a lot of my teammates in the NBA D-League team I was on has seen it (popularity of Ginebra). Actually, my girlfriend has seen a lot of people tweet me from the area (Philippines),” added Macklin, who last suited up for Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the D-League.
“I see the fans are pretty wild out here. They are great and lovable fans. The teammates (at Ginebra) are cool. The coaching staff ... Everybody wants to win,” he added.
Owing to this, Macklin said he intends to chat with fans through his Twitter account @vernon_macklin.
“In the last couple of hours and days, I got a lot of reply (from fans),” said the Ginebra import, who arrived Monday from San Francisco.