Robbie Herndon displayed his best performance in a San Miguel uniform and powered the flagship team of the SMC group past NorthPort, 105-89, Saturday in the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 28-year old Fil-Am, who was acquired by the Beermen a month ago from Converge in exchange for two future second-round picks, tallied 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting with 5-of-10 coming form beyond the arc to go with an assist and a rebound in 20 minutes of play.
“I’m so happy with what happened to our game tonight. We were able to give time to those from the bench, especially Robbie. I told him just be patient and your time will come, and tonight was his time,” said SMB head coach Leo Austria during the post-game press conference.
“I’m so happy with them, not only him, Paul Zamar also played really well. What’s important here is that the players know their role. If they’re from the bench, they know what to do. I’m so happy they performed well,” he added.
The Beermen, who continued to miss the services of Terrence Romeo, Chris Ross, Vic Manuel and Moala Tautuaa due to injuries, picked up their 6th win in 7 outings to move up to solo first place in the team standings. The Batang Pier, on the other hand, dropped further down with their 5th consecutive loss after opening the season with back-to-back victories.
June Mar Fajardo also finished with 21 points on an efficient 9-of-11 shooting form the field in addition to 9 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal and a block. Marcio Lassiter scored 18 with half coming form long distance while CJ Perez added 17 markers plus a game-high 12 boards. Paul Zamar and Jericho Cruz chipped in 15 and 12 points, respectively.
Former Beerman Arwind Santos, who celebrated a career milestone by becoming the 17th member of the league’s 10,000-point club, paced the Batang Pier with 25 points to go with 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 5 blocks.
San Miguel’s next opponent is the streaking TNT Tropang Giga. Game day is on Thursday, July 7, 7:15pm at the same venue.
San Miguel 122 – Herndon 21, Fajardo 21, Lassiter 18, Perez 17, Zamar 15, Cruz 12, Enciso 7, Brondial 6, Faundo 3, Pessumal 2, Canete 0.
NorthPort 106 – Santos 25, Sumang 20, Calma 14, Balanza 12, Malonzo 10, Dela Cruz 8, Ayaay 8, Javier 4, Ferrer 3, Apacible 2, Vigil 0, Subido 0.
Quarterscores: 25-29, 55-55, 82-82, 122-106.