By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--Robbie Herndon defied the challenge of PBA legend Willie Miller in the final to win the Philippine leg of the Red Bull King of the Rock at the Baluarte de Dilao on Saturday night.
The 22-year-old American banked on late triples and bucked off foul trouble to hack out a 21-19 victory over the 38-year-old Miller, who last saw action for the Pilipinas Kings in the ABL, in the championship game to earn a trip to Istanbul to represent the Philippines in the KOTR World Championship, where the best 1-on-1 basketball players will converge.
With the game tight entering the final two minutes of the five-minute encounter, Herndon, who only resided in the Philippines last month, buried clutch treys, some even coming from NBA range, to open an 18-11 cushion.
Miller, who survived the challenge of upstart ballers Mac-Mac Tallo and Jerramy King to make the final, tried to exploit the five-foul forfeiture rule on Herndon, who was already saddled with four fouls, by going for layups while fishing his final foul which he had no choice but to let in to cut the lead to just one, 18-17, with less than a minute left.
But Herndon buried a dagger triple from the left wing to bring the lead back to four as Miller lost steam in the end.
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