Cold off the bench, Rob Herndon heated up right away and helped San Miguel Beer beat TNT in an overtime battle at the MOA Arena in Pasay City Friday.
Herndon dished out a clutch performance in his first outing in the PBA Philippine Cup title playoff, saving the night for the Beermen with a 108-100 triumph that gave them the 2-1 upper hand in the race-to-four series.
Subbing for the fouled-out CJ Perez, the 6-foot-2 third-string gunner instantly knocked down a three-pointer in the regulation then strung up a twinner and another trey to spark a decisive run that sent Beermen racing to a second straight win in the series.
June Mar Fajardo had a hulking performance with 27 points and the same number of rebounds and Jericho Cruz (18), Marcio Lassiter (13), Vic Manuel (12) and Perez (11) contributed double-digit outputs as SMB came through with a follow-up to their 109-100 victory in Game 2.
The Beermen go for the pivotal 3-1 lead as the series swings back to the Smart Araneta Coliseum for Game 4 Sunday.
Herndon starred for SMB at endgame although he committed a crucial blunder, with a delay-of-game infraction in the last 11.7 seconds of regulation, opening an opportunity for the Tropang Giga to steal the game.
TNT tied the count at 94-all on a free throw by RR Pogoy, but the Tropang Giga couldn’t make the most of the opportunity with Jayson Castro missing an attempt for game-winner at the buzzer.