From goat to hero, Herndon helps Beermen claim 2-1 edge vs … –

By Peter Atencio
Fil-American cager Rob Herndon took charge in the extra period and delivered the baskets that lifted the San Miguel Beermen to a 108-100 overtime beating of the TNT Tropang Giga Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Herndon’s unlikely heroics in their Game 3 fightback allowed the 6’3” small forward from Vallejo, California to redeem himself from a miscue in the closing seconds of regulation in their best-of-seven finals series in the 2022 Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup.
 The 29-year-old Herndon’s late-game efforts nearly overshadowed the monster game of JuneMar Fajardo,  who topscored with 27 points and hauled down 27 boards in carrying the Beermen to a 2-1 lead. It was the 6’10″ Fajardo’s  14th career 20-20 game, but his first  in more than four years  since their title-clinching Game 5, 108-99 overtime win in the  2018 Philippine Cup over Tropang Giga.
Herndon shot five of his eight-point tally in the extra period, with his putback and triple shattering a 94-all regulation tie in the last 3:36 and during a 9-0 blast that handed the Beermen a 103-94 edge in the remaining 1:58.
Coach Leo Austria put Herndon at the small forward position, after teammates Marcio Lassiter and CJ Perez fouled before the 3:15 mark in the fourth.
“There’s no other player in the bench. That’s why, hindi na ako masu-surprise kung maka-shoot siya du’n sa three points. That was what he was practicing for,” said Austria of Herndon.
RR Pogoy, who banged in a team-high 25 points for TNT,  sent the contest into overtime after converting a  free throw, 94-all,  off a bench technical when Herndon delayed  an inbound pass from the former  in the last 11.7 seconds.
Jason Castro then missed a chance to win it for TNT in regulation with an off-balanced attempt in the last two seconds.
“Nothing has changed in our defense. We just kept on learning since the eliminations,” added Austria.
Mikey Williams and Castro added 17 points apiece for the Tropang Giga, with assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga still calling the shots.

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