Meet the 22 y/o who outscored PBA great Willie Miller in one-on-one match

Barry Viloria on Mar 22, 2016 07:37 PM
Meet the 22 y/o who beat Willie Miller in one-on-one match
Fil-Am Robbie Herndon has yet to play in the PBA. (Photos courtesy of Red Bull)

Retired PBA cager Willie Miller easily emerged as the best bet at the Red Bull #KingofTheRock finals last Saturday at Baluarte de Bilao in Manila. That evening, he had just kicked out younger opponent Jerramy King in the semis. It was the culminating night of the street ball tournament, where amateurs and pros all over the country battled it out to the top in five-minute-long matches, single-elimination style. The prize: A plane ticket to Istanbul to compete with the rest of the world. Eyes have been set on Miller to be the one snatching it.

That was until a towering newbie stopped the four-time PBA champ and two-time MVP of the league. Miller’s dribbling showed the Intramuros crowds why he’s a living legend, but it fell short to the new guy’s long range shooting. The kid was leading halfway through but with four fouls—one more before he’d get the boot. He then focused on his defense, and in the last minute, finally sealed the game by sinking two three-pointers.

As the game ended, 21-19, the media men flocked to Robbie Herndon, the Filipino-American baller who had just beaten Miller. The first ever #kingoftherock champ is just 22.

“It’s a surprise for me.” We caught up with Herndon, whom we just learned is a former San Francisco State University NCAA Division II.

“I’ve never been a part of something like this. It’s my first time to play one-on-one on a stage like this. It was a lot of fun,” he said in monotone.

Herndon’s eyes still glimmered in disbelief, probably after edging a veteran player, who has even gone to semi-retirement.
 
“I have confidence in my game. There are some competitors in here that were tough to get by. I’ve been playing basketball my whole life, I’ve also been playing one-on-one so it’s always been something I love to do.”

In August, Herndon will be flying out of the country en route to the world tournament. He will compete against more than 60 countries—and there’ll be a division for women, too.

“I wasn’t expecting to go to Turkey! If ever, this will be my first time.”

Herndon is one of the most anticipated Fil-Am prospects since last year. He has actually done practice games with Rain Or Shine, Alaska, and Kia. This Kobe Bryant-Russell Westbrook follower’s ultimate destination is really the PBA.

“I hope to play in the D-League and eventually in the PBA,” he said. “I’d like to be on any team. Honestly, I would just love to play.”

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