Red Bull King of the Rock Crowns First Philippines National Winner


“I figured I made it this far and that it would suck to lose." - Robbie Herndon

“I figured I made it this far and that it would suck to lose.” – Robbie Herndon

On its sixth season, Red Bull King of the Rock made history in the Philippines as it officially crowned its first local champion at the National Finals last Saturday, March 19, 2016 at Baluarte de Dilao within the ancient walls of Intramuros, Manila.

After a hard fought first three rounds, the final four players to emerge from the group were Robbie Herndon vs Jonathan Egea and Willie Miller vs Jerramy King. Herndon’s shots had trouble falling but he relied on his size and strength to beat Egea to advance into the finals. Miller and King battled hard but the nine-time PBA All-Star stayed calm and pulled out the win thanks to his experience and nifty footwork.

Filipino-American and former San Francisco State University NCAA Division II player Robbie Herndon faced off with PBA MVP alumnus Willie Miller in an epic five-minute final. The two competitors each utilized their strengths to score – Herndon with his long range shooting and Miller with his dribbling and inside post moves. Herndon took a lead halfway through but with four fouls, was forced to relent on defense allowing Miller to score inside at will. But Herndon’s two clutch three pointers in the final minute sealed the deal crowning him the first ever Red Bull King of the Rock National Championships with a score of 21 – 19.

Asked what was going through his mind during the historic game, the 22-year-old said, “I figured I made it this far and that it would suck to lose. [Willie Miller] was a good opponent. And it feels awesome to represent the Philippines like this.”

Looking ahead, Herndon will now be the first-ever Philippine represenative to compete at the Red Bull King of the Rock World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey in August 2016. Herndon will have to bring his A-game if he hopes to beat top players from 60+ other countries at the world’s largest and most prestigious one-on-one basketball competition later this year.

Follow Herndon’s journey from the first rounds of the Philippine Qualifiers, National Finals, and finally to the World Finals on http://win.gs/KOTRPHILIPPINES.

A total of 28 players comprised from three previous Qualifiers (Cebu, Manila A, Manila B) as well as a last chance Qualifier held on the day of the finals made up the 32-slot final bracket.

Cebu Qualifier – March 5, 2016

NAME AGE CITY NOTES
Mac Mac Tallo* 22 Cebu South Western University player (former DLSU player)
John Lloyd Luz 21 Cebu South Western University player (former FEU player)
Joevince Cañizares 32 Cebu Real Estate Agent (Property Specialist)
Dominic Adlawan 24 Cebu Student
Jon Love 23 Mabolo Barbershop Owner
Flether Galvez 19 Cebu Student
Karl De Pio 25 Cebu Marketing Sales Executive
Brian Gabasa 27 Cebu Businessman

Manila A Qualifier – March 12, 2016

NAME AGE CITY REMARKS
Felixson Sulapas* 21 Malabon Hotel Staff at Executive Plaza hotel
Jason Vilagracia 20 Quezon City Student
Obinna Ezeike 22 Manila Philippine Christian University varsity
Karl Bautista 23 Caloocan Student
Victor Sayao 23 Laguna Jersey Country Sportwear Partner
Jonathan Egea 33 Marikina Former TV / Sports personality (MTV Bolahan)
Frian Sulapas 18 Malabon Student
Sunie Tibayan 24 Cavite Student

Manila B Qualifier – March 18, 2016

NAME AGE CITY REMARKS
Jose Felix Cleopas* 29 Cebu San Beda assistant coach
Julius Aldeon 30 Dasmarinas, Cavite FEU Sportfest
Anton Villavicencio 21 Quezon City DLSU student
John Ceddric Toledo 16 Bulacan Student
Ivan Paul Jaralve 22 Quezon City PCCR basketball team member
Martin Rebanal 17 Marikina UE Student
Danceresty Morfe 26 Makati City Freelance Artist
Patricky Dy 30 San Mateo Rizal Butler

Last Chance Qualifier – March 19, 2016

NAME AGE CITY REMARKS
Jerramy King* 25 Taguig USA NCAA Divion 1 Player and professional ABL
Robbie Herndon 22 Taguig USA NCAA Division 2 basketball player
Willie Miller 21 Olongapo Reitred PBA  player and MVP
Andrew Belonia 22 Ateneo Blue Eagle

A separate slamdunk competition followed the intense 1-on-1 games where Nigeria native Obinna Ezeike reigned supreme with his high-flying skills and crowd-rousing showmanship.

About Red Bull King of the Rock
Red Bull King of the Rock is the world’s most prestigious one-on-one street basketball tournament. After a series of qualifying events taking place around the world, the best and toughest finalists (Kings and Queens) face off to crown the new champion. The tournament follows a straightforward concept where players battle head-to-head in raw outdoor basketball, using a single-elimination tournament bracket. Games last five minutes, with 15 second clock and are subject to regulation hoops rules and scoring (two and three pointers). Players have to be tough to make it to the finals, but also have to play smart – five fouls equal an automatic loss. After each game, the loser walks away, and the winner faces his next opponent. Tension and expectations are high. With blood, sweat, tears, and hoops in the mix, the last King and Queen will be honored.

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