Behind China-bound import, blistering Hotshots turn Columbian Dyip into a wreck

Vernon Macklin got a lucrative offer overseas that he couldn’t resist and, as he prepares for his swan song with Magnolia, showed his appreciation to management in style.

With Macklin set to bring his act to China, the Hotshots made the most out of their hardworking import by running over Columbian Dyip, 126-101, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Hotshots showcased the kind of firepower that brought them to the Philippine Cup Finals just a couple of months back, working on tearing down the Dyip right from the start.

Sean Anthony scored 21 points and GlobalPort’s entire starting unit scored in double figures as the Batang Pier overpowered NLEX, 116-94, in the nightcap.

The Batang Pier rose to 3-2 while dealing the Road Warriors a fourth loss in five games.

Paul Lee and Mark Barroca combined efforts with Ian Sangalang and Jio Jalalon to complement the inside prowess of Macklin, who had several open looks due to the Columbian’s shoddy defense.

When the Dyip fell behind by as many as 32 points early in the second half, Magnolia, the No. 1 defensive team, simply coasted to its second straight win after a shock defeat against Phoenix in its conference debut.

Guards Jeremy King and Rashawn McCarthy, who normally fuel the Columbian offense, couldn’t come up with their usual fire mainly due to Magnolia’s suffocating defense that met them up high.

Finishing with 19 points and eight rebounds, Macklin will play his last game for the Hotshots against the Meralco Bolts on Friday before jumping to the Chinese Basketball Association.

“I play hard in every game I play. You know it’s a tough situation, a bittersweet move that I have to leave my team,” said Macklin.

Macklin, whose first stint in the PBA was helping Barangay Ginebra finish second to Alaska in the 2013 edition of this conference, spent most of the second half cheering his teammates on after the outcome had been settled early.

The Dyip somehow increased speed after McCarthy and Magnolia guard Jio Jalalon got physical early in the fourth, but the huge deficit was just too much to overcome.

Columbian took a third loss in six games.

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