Vernon Macklin orphans Magnolia Hotshots as import bound to take act to China
Magnolia import Vernon Macklin posterized JC Intal of Phoenix. Jerome Ascano

SORRY, but the highly-anticipated clash between Barangay Ginebra and former import Vernon Macklin just won’t happen in this PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Macklin has dangled a guaranteed contract to play in China’s National Basketball League (NBL), prompting him to make an abrupt exit at Magnolia Pambansang Manok.

The 31-year-old import would play out his last two games with the Hotshots this week against Columbian Dyip on Wednesday and Meralco on Friday.

Macklin’s agent and representative Sheryl Reyes announced the development over social media late Monday night.

“Vernon Macklin unfortunately will play his last game this 5/18..he was given a guaranteed contract with the NBL China that he can’t pass up on,” said Reyes, who extended her gratitude to the management of San Miguel Corp. for allowing the import to take the China offer.

“We would like to thank Boss AL., Mr. Pardo for understanding our situation and allowing him to go,” added the female agent. “He is sad but needs this for his future.”

Macklin’s impending departure meant foregoing his first meeting against Barangay Ginebra, his former team which he steered to the finals of this same tournament in 2013.

The elimination round encounter between the Kings and Hotshots is set on June 17 yet.

Macklin split his first two games with Magnolia, losing to Phoenix in overtime, 89-87, but bouncing back against Globalport, 92-87, just this Saturday in Angeles City.

He averaged 22 points and 16 rebounds for the Hotshots.

It wasn’t mentioned who the Hotshots are tapping as replacement for the 6-foot-10 Macklin, a product of Florida.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos