AFTER a nationwide competition Red Bull crowned Robbie Herndon as the best one-on-one street baller in the country during the King of the Rock National Championships held last weekend at the Baluarte de Dilao within the ancient walls of Intramuros, Manila.
As if to show that he’s not a spent force just yet former Philippine Basketball Association all-star and basketball legend Willie Miller almost pulled the rug out from under the young Fil-Am in their exciting final match.
The day’s competition started with a 32-man final cast composed of 28 players from three previous Qualifiers (Cebu, Manila A, Manila B) as well as a last chance Qualifier held on the day of the finals competed.
The final four players to emerge were Herndon against Jonathan Egea and Miller against Jerramy King.
Herndon relied on his size and strength to beat Egea to advance into the finals. King gave the experienced Miller everything he could handle but in the end the nine-time PBA All-Star Miller proved too wily as he made it to the championship.
The 22-year-old Herndon displayed maturity and composure in battling the more seasoned Miller.
“I figured I made it this far and that it would suck to lose,” said Herndon. “Willie Miller was a good opponent. And it feels awesome to represent the Philippines like this.”
The two competitors relied on their strengths to score. Miller forced Herndon into committing four fouls late in the game and managed to impose his will by scoring inside until the two pressure packed triples powered Herndon to victory.
Former San Francisco State University NCAA Division II player Herndon subdued Miller in an epic five-minute final. Miller was on his way to victory when Herndon drilled two clutch three pointers in the final minute to prevail by the skin of his teeth, 21-19.
Red Bull King of the Rock, already in its sixth season abroad, made history in the Philippines as it officially crowned its first local champion during the slam-bang all day event.
Meanwhile, in the exciting sidelight, Obinna Ezeike displayed his high-flying skills and crowd-rousing showmanship to reign supreme in the slam dunk competition. He jumped over three other players for his final dunk. The Nigerian led the St. Dominic College of Asia during the 7th Inter-Scholastic Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament last year.
Herndon becomes the first-ever Philippine representative to compete at the Red Bull King of the Rock World Championships which will be held August in Istanbul, Turkey. He competes against the top players from more than 60 other countries at the world’s largest and most prestigious one-on-one basketball competition.
Red Bull King of the Rock is the world’s most prestigious one-on-one street basketball tournament.
After a series of qualifying events taking place around the world, the best and toughest finalists face off to crown the new champion.
Players battle head-to-head in a single-elimination tournament bracket. Games last five minutes, with a 15-second shot clock and are subject to regulation hoops rules and scoring (two and three pointers).
Players need to be tough but also have to play smart. A player who commits five fouls losses automatically.
For more information about Red Bull, visit the website www.redbull.com and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: facebook.com/redbull | twitter.com/redbullph | instagram.com/redbullph.
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