San Miguel head coach Leo Austria said picking Christian Standhardinger first in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft will be worth the wait.
“I think I’ve said it before that for a talent like Christian, we’re willing to wait even for one or two more years. It’s still okay for me as long as we’ll have him,” Austria said.
Austria and the Beermen have every reason to want Standhardinger, who won’t make his PBA debut until midway through the next season due to his commitments with the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions in the Asean Basketball League, on the team.
The Fil-German big man quickly became a hot commodity the moment he bursted into the Philippine basketball scene as a member of Gilas Pilipinas in the 2017 Jones Cup, Fiba Asia Cup and Southeast Asian Games.
Standhardinger forms a fearsome frontline with four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo and joins an already stacked roster featuring Mythical First Team members Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot, and Arwind Santos.
But despite the fanfare surrounding Standhardinger’s entry to San Miguel, Austria is still putting a premium on team chemistry.
“We still don’t know yet what we could have from him since he’s going to Hong Kong, but once he joins us, we’re expecting great things from him. The important thing here and what we’re after for is to have good chemistry. It took us a long time to have that and now that we do, it’s just a matter of blending him in to our team,” he said.
But based on what Austria had seen so far, it looks like chemistry issues won’t be that much of a problem.
“Based on what we saw, he’s a good fit for our team. He’s really a hardworker and that’s what we like from him. He could give a lot of help for our team because you know, that’s what we’re always aiming for. We’re always looking for excellence.”