The Long-Awaited Arrival of Christian Standhardinger

Anton Roxas on Apr 12, 2018 12:09 PM
The Long-Awaited Arrival of Christian Standhardinger
的知 okay with anything. I just want to win championships. If I知 gonna be there cheering, then I知 gonna be there cheering. We値l see what happens. But, I have to come in and figure out how I can help the team the best way possible. - Christian Standhardinger

Christian Standhardinger bent down, hands on his knees, breathing heavily as the buzzer sounded to signal the end of the third quarter. His Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team trailed the visiting San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, 75-62, with ten more minutes of game time coming up. When the fourth quarter began, the 6’8” Fil-German crashed the boards, defended aggressively, set solid screens and scored when he got deep in the paint. The prized Heritage Import would go on to finish with 18 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. But, his workmanlike effort was not enough to carry the defending champions to victory as they lost Game 1 of the ASEAN Basketball League Semifinals, 98-94.

About an hour after the game, a still weary Standhardinger emerged from the locker room.

“It was a hard game. I’m really tired. I feel like a marathon runner. But, you battle through it and I was happy I was able to contribute even though we couldn’t get the victory at the end,” said Standhardinger, who also played a team-high 38 minutes.

Even though Hong Kong Eastern had beaten Alab Pilipinas in both of their meetings in the elimination round, there were a lot of concerns surrounding the team as they entered last night’s match-up. Head Coach Edu Torres was not present as he returned to Catalonia, Spain to attend to a family emergency. The team has also not seen action in two weeks with their last game being an 88-77 loss at home against Chong Son Kung Fu. It was also the first time that they played against the experienced duo of Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman. Balkman played like a man possessed, exploding for 46 points, breaking Justin Howard’s record for most points scored in a single playoff game in ABL history.

Despite all of that, Standhardinger remains positive and is looking forward to coming to the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Sta. Rosa, Laguna for Game 2 where a lot of Filipino fans are hoping to get a glimpse of the number one overall pick in the 2017 PBA Draft.

“There’s a lot of excitement and as a player, I was not very liked in my European career. But, since I have a connection with the Filipino fans, I’d be like, ‘Okay, I’m gonna really go out there and hustle and give them something that they want to see because I’m so happy for their support. I’m thinking like, ‘Okay, let’s not let those people down.’”

At the end of the current ABL season, Standhardinger is all set to join the San Miguel Beermen in the PBA. And even though he is focused on his current team in Hong Kong, he has been keeping tabs on the latest happenings of his future team. In fact, he watched San Miguel win its most recent PBA Championship.

“They played amazing. June Mar (Fajardo) is great. I’m very excited to be part of the team.”

Interestingly, one of his future teammates at San Miguel, Marcio Lassiter was in attendance at the Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai, Hong Kong. Lassiter though was seated behind the Alab Pilipinas bench.

“I have not met Lassiter, but, I am a big fan of his game,” shared Standhardinger, who also mentioned that it is only Von Pessumal whom he has met personally from San Miguel as the two were teammates in the 2017 SEA Games for the Philippine National Team.

With Balkman set to join the Beermen, Standhardinger understands that he will play a lesser role as compared to the heavy lifting he does with Hong Kong.

“I’m okay with anything. I just want to win championships. If I’m gonna be there cheering, then I’m gonna be there cheering. We’ll see what happens. But, I have to come in and figure out how I can help the team the best way possible.”

Standhardinger, who grew up in Munich, West Germany says that playing professionally in the Philippines was “always on his radar”. It’s been a long and complicated process for him to be eligible to play in the PBA but he’s glad that his journey back to the motherland is finally upon him.

 

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