The Hotshots notch their 3rd straight win thanks to the 31-year-old import’s go-ahead free throws
Published 10:04 PM, May 18, 2018
Updated 10:04 PM, May 18, 2018
FAREWELL. Vernon Macklin did not disappoint in his last game for the Magnolia Hotshots with a double-double effort in the win over the Meralco Bolts. Photo by PBA Images
MANILA, Philippines – Vernon Macklin bid goodbye in the most ecstatic way by burying the go-ahead freebies that lifted Magnolia to an 81-79 win over Meralco in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, May 18.
Macklin, who will leave the Hotshots to play in China’s National Basketball League, iced the game with a pair of free throws that shattered a 79-all deadlock with 3 seconds left and secured Magnolia its 3rd straight win.
The 31-year-old import churned out team-highs of 21 points and 15 rebounds as the Hotshots improved to 3-1 and handed the Bolts, who were likewise gunning for a 3rd straight win, their second loss in 5 outings.
Meralco had a chance to tie the game off a pinpoint Baser Amer inbound pass but Chris Newsome, despite not having any defenders around him, muffed the alley-oop play.
Paul Lee, who knotted the score at 79-all with his foul shots, dished the ball to Macklin for the go-ahead free throws before finishing with 20 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds.
Magnolia (81): Macklin 21, Lee 20, Barroca 18, Reavis 6, Jalalon 6, Ramos 3, Herndon 3, Dela Rosa 2, Brondial 2, Pascual 0, Sangalang 0, Simon 0, Abundo 0
Meralco (79): Onuaku 23, Newsome 15, Amer 14, Dillinger 12, Canaleta 7, Caram 4, Baracael 2, Hugnatan 2, Hodge 0
Quarter scores: 19-16; 34-31; 56-50; 81-79