WILLIE Miller’s stint as the first Philippine representative in the 2016 Red Bull 'King of the Rock' world finals may have been short, but the two-time PBA MVP made sure he gave the thousands watching at Mati Kalemegdan, Belgrade, Serbia a memorable taste of Filipino streetball talent last September 17.
Miller fell to Nebojsa Boskovic of Serbia in the second round of the world’s largest one-on-one street basketball competition, which drew the best streetballers from 20 countries.
The nine-time PBA All-Star player has proven that he has the moves and mentality of a champion during his 14-year PBA career, and put such skills to full advantage as he moved to the second stage. But even as he bowed out early, Miller played with the signature Filipino passion and pride.
Serbia's very own Stefan Kojic battled Karolis Šarukas of Lithuania in the final round, with the hometown favorite, spurred on by the passionate crowd, clinching a 14-12 victory to become Red Bull’s King of the Rock. Meanwhile, Alexei Zakarov of Russia took third place.
In its debut season in the Philippines, the Red Bull King of the Rock held qualifiers in Cebu, Caloocan and Quezon City. Twenty-four of the country's top street ballers engaged in an intense elimination round, leaving Fil-Am Robbie Herndon and Miller as the last two men standing in the finals.
Herndon eventually took home the crown, but decided to step down, paving the way for the ascension of Miller as the first Filipino representative to the King of the Rock Finals.