PBA: Patience pays off for Herndon with best game yet for SMB

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 03 2022 11:38 AM

Robbie Herndon puts up a shot against Jerrick Balanza in the San Miguel-NorthPort game of the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup. PBA Images.
Robbie Herndon puts up a shot against Jerrick Balanza in the San Miguel-NorthPort game of the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup. PBA Images.

MANILA, Philippines -- After scoring just four points in his first six games combined, Robbie Herndon displayed what he was capable of with his best game so far for San Miguel Beer on Saturday night.

Herndon came off the bench to score 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting in a 122-106 rout of NorthPort, making half of his 10 attempts from long distance. He had 11 points in the final period, when San Miguel finally pulled away from the FiberXers after being in a nip-and-tuck game in the previous three periods.

"[I was] just staying positive. I came into this team a little late, so I had to fast-track the process of getting accustomed to my new teammates and the system. And you know, nothing comes overnight, so I just stayed patient and stayed positive," said Herndon after his performance. 

"I knew eventually, I'd be able to play my game here at San Miguel," he added.

Herndon joined San Miguel via a sign-and-trade with Converge just days before the start of the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup. It took him a while to get his bearings with the team, as he played spot minutes in their first six games and made a combined two field goals for four points.

But the guard said he never lost confidence even as he was not getting his usual minutes.

"The other games, I was getting spare minutes, like five minutes here or six minutes there. It's kinda hard to get a rhythm in low minutes like that," Herndon admitted.

"But like I said, I just stayed patient, I just stayed positive. And I know what kind of player I am, I know what I'm capable of doing, and I'm just blessed to be on a team like this," he added. "I knew, eventually, that I'd have a breakout game and find my niche on the team."

For San Miguel coach Leo Austria, this kind of performance was exactly what they wanted to get from Herndon when they acquired him in the offseason.

"The reason why he's here, I saw what kind of talent he has," said the coach, who added that Herndon is the kind of player who can provide spacing for their big men in June Mar Fajardo and Moala Tautuaa.

"So when he was available, there's no question. Hindi na ako nag-second to ask the management to get him," he added.

"I hope this game will give him a lot of confidence."

The win improved San Miguel's record to 6-1 in the All-Filipino Conference, virtually sealing their spot in the quarterfinals. They return to action on Thursday against the TNT Tropang GIGA.