Miller bows to Herndon, yields world 1-on-1 spot
ROBBIE Herndon leaned on his stellar outside shooting to best former PBA Most Valuable Player Willie Miller, 21-19, on Saturday night and rule the national finals of the Red Bull King of the Rock at Baluarte de Dilao in Intramuros, Manila.
The former San Francisco State University standout nailed two triples in the waning seconds to topple the nine-time PBA All-Star in an epic five-minute clash.
With the victory, the 22-year-old Herndon earned a ticket to the world finals in Turkey in August this year.
“I figured I made it this far and that it would suck to lose,” said Herndon. He (Miller) was a good opponent. And it feels awesome to represent the Philippines like this.”
Herndon took the lead halfway through the match, but his foul woes allowed Miller to get baskets inside the paint to set the stage for a thrilling finish.
Herndon clinched a championship berth by stunning Jonathan Egea while Miller outplayed Jeramee King.
The tournament opened with a field of 32 players culled from three previous qualifiers in Cebu and two in Manila, as well as a last-chance qualifier held on the day of the finals.
Herndon will be pitted against players from more than 60 countries in the world finals, reputed the strongest one-on-one basketball competition.
Nigerian Obinna Ezeike ruled the slam dunk side event.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.