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PBA: Herndon atones for blunder vs TNT, lifts SMB in OT to take 2-1 lead


Robbie Herndon redeemed himself from a big blunder and helped San Miguel get past TNT in overtime, 108-100, to take a 2-1 series lead in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup Finals, Friday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

The Fil-Am gunner fired five straight to lead a 7-0 run for a 101-94 lead with 3:14 left, enough for the Beermen to hang on towards the win — and enough to free himself from the blame after he practically sent the game into OT.

Herndon was called for a technical for a delay of game infraction with 11.7 seconds left, leading to a Roger Pogoy bonus that tied it up at 94-all.

Then again, he came through and saved SMB on the way to their second win in a row since dropping the series opener last Sunday, 92-93. He finished with eight points and four rebounds in over eight minutes of play.

“It was more so that mistake I made with the technical. I had to make up for it so I was a little more motivated,” said Herndon, who’s never seen action in the series until now, subbing in with 3:15 left in regulation after CJ Perez fouled out.

June Mar Fajardo powered the Beermen with 27 points and 27 rebounds, a few numbers shy of tying his record 31 he set in the 2019 Philippine Cup Finals.

“Kailangan ko lang kunin ‘yung rebounds, ‘yun lang ang trabaho ko eh,” the six-time MVP said. “Kailangan ko i-boxout kasi maganda ‘yung depensa ng TNT sa akin, nahihirapan ako maka-score, nahihirapan ako makatanggap sa poste.”

Jericho Cruz had 18 points, while Marcio Lassiter and Vic Manuel finished with 13 and 12 markers, respectively. CJ Perez added 11 in the win that saw SMB shoot 41-percent from the field, including 10-of-26 from deep.

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Game Four is on Sunday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum, with the Beermen looking to make it three in a row and build a commanding 3-1 lead.

Meanwhile, Roger Pogoy had 25 points to lead TNT in the defeat that wasted yet another solid outing from him like the last time out.

Jayson Castro had 17 points. He was turned to again by the Tropang Giga in the final seconds of regulation, but failed to replicate his endgame magic as he was not able to set up a potential game-winner properly.

Mikey Williams also had 17 points, alongside four rebounds and five assists. Poy Erram had 11 points and 15 rebounds in the defeat.

The defending champions have now lost back-to-back since winning the series opener, but could have a big boost in Game Four as head coach Chot Reyes is expected to return and call the shots again.

Reyes missed the last two games to fulfill his obligations as chief mentor of Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers’ fourth window.

The Scores:

San Miguel 108 – Fajardo 27, Cruz 18, Lassiter 13, Manuel 12, Perez 11, Ross 8, Herndon 8, Tautuaa 6, Brondial 5, Enciso 0

TNT 100 – Pogoy 25, M.Williams 17, Castro 17, Erram 11, Khobuntin 11, K.Williams 10, Rosario 4, Reyes 3, Marcelo 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Montalbo 0, Cruz 0

Quarterscores: 27-19, 49-46, 74-76, 94-94, 108-100

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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