Standhardinger certainly a big boost to Gilas cause
TAIPEI – There’s one Gilas Pilipinas newcomer who is the tallest, beefiest of them all who should be commanding all the attention yet is very content playing behind the likes of Kiefer Ravena and Kobe Paras.
Christian Standhardinger is a 6-foot-7 center of German descent who made his national team debut on Saturday afternoon in the 39th Jones Cup Invitational playing as the back-up to import Mike Myers.
The pony-tailed 27-year-old is being groomed to be an integral part of Gilas in the years to come, with coach Chot Reyes breaking him in gently as he is also slated to play in the Fiba Asia Championship in Lebanon in late August.
“It was nice,” Standhardinger said when asked how he felt after getting his first official Philippine Team game off. “I need to do better next time, though.”
Ravena and Paras have hugged the spotlight coming over and both didn’t disappoint even though the Filipinos lost to Canada 150, 77-90, Saturday night.
Standhardinger, meanwhile, just went about his business and battled Canada’s bigger, more athletic frontliners tooth and nail in all the 25 minutes and 33 seconds he was on the floor.
“Oh, man, he can play,” former Gilas skipper Jimmy Alapag, now one of the squad’s assistant coaches, said. “And he plays really hard. That’s probably the way the game is played back in Germany, and the way we like it at Gilas.”
At the end of what had been a very trying grind, Hardinger certainly announced that he deserves the same praise the other newcomers are getting. He scored nine points and had 10 rebounds.
And we can only imagine what “I need to do better means,” and how well it could help the team in the tournaments to come.
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