Bittersweet feeling as Vernon Macklin vows to finish Magnolia stint on a high note
Vernon Macklin is still focused on the task at hand for the Hotshots despite his impending move to China. Jerome Ascano 

PLAYING in China is the farthest in Vernon Macklin’s mind as he vowed to go all out in his final game with Magnolia on Friday against Meralco.

Macklin, who will be heading to China to play in the National Basketball League, played his penultimate match with the Hotshots on Wednesday when his team dismantled Columbian, 126-101.

The 31-year-old Macklin is still focused on playing for Magnolia that he doesn’t want to discuss his stint with China at this point.

“Right now, I’m still here with the Hotshots so I don’t want to speak about that situation. Right now, I’m playing with Purefoods,” said Macklin.

Macklin said his mindset coming into the remaining games is still the same as playing his first game with the Hotshots. But he admitted playing for Magnolia in this final stretch is a bittersweet moment, saying he prefers to finish out the conference with the Hotshots.

“It’s the same even though it’s a bittersweet situation,” said Macklin. “I came here with these guys to start the season and I want to finish with these guys. Obviously, I have something to take care of and I’ve got to do something for my family.”

“(But) I’m still going to come out here and play hard. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first game or the last game. I don’t care how many games left. I’m going to play hard for my team, for the Hotshots, and for myself,” said Macklin.

Macklin got the luxury of rest when he played for only 19 minutes following a lopsided match at halftime. He now looks forward to the game against Meralco and its hulking import Arinze Onuaku on Friday.

“Right now, we go back tomorrow and prepare. The coaches have done a good job of keeping us together. We will watch film. I know Arinze Onuaku since college so he is really a good import. For the rest of the guys, we’ve gonna learn that with the coaches. I guess we will learn tomorrow,” said Macklin.

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