AS San Miguel played zone in Game One, Magnolia rookie Robbie Herndon patiently waited for his chance on the Magnolia bench.
The freshman forward got that opportunity at the start of the fourth period and made the most out of it, sparking a Hotshots comeback on the way to a 105-103 win on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Herndon drained two three pointers in the payoff period and finished with all of his eight points down the stretch as the Hotshots rallied from 20 points down to stun the defending Philippine Cup champions.
“Whenever I see any team play zone, as a shooter it’s like a dream come true. We know what we can do when there’s a zone,” said Herndon.
But it wasn’t just on the offensive end where he did his damage. Herndon was also active on defense and was part of the unit which held San Miguel to just four points over a six-minute stretch. He finished with three steals all in all.
“Raf (Reavis) told us that no matter what happens out there, just keep playing defense. He kept saying that, everybody kept telling each other don’t worry about scoring or anything, just keep playing defense. I think that’s what we did and it helped out,” he added.
Herndon has rarely seen action in his first PBA playoff appearance, but was always ready.
He knew his chance will come.
“I was just on the bench focused, trying to keep myself ready. It can be hard sitting down and just getting thrown in there but I’ve learned how to stay ready, I was glad I was able to contribute when I went in,” said Herndon.
“If cheering your teammates is what helps, then stay engaged in the game like how you can. Know what you can do as a player, I know what I can do as a player and I’m glad I was able to contribute.”