Gilas stint ‘dream come true’ for Fil-German Standhardinger
Christian Standhardinger, who arrived in the country just Tuesday night, was dealt a reality check: internet access is not readily available everywhere.
“I’ve been looking where I can find wi-fi,” he said with a laugh as he messed around with Gilas team utility Bong Tulabot.
But that’s the easy part.
The hard part is getting accustomed to the Filipino style of play as he is set to bolster the Gilas Pilipinas squad in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.
Standhardinger didn’t waste time and immediately joined team practice on Wednesday afternoon, less than 24 hours since flying in.
And he already liked what he saw.
“It’s a great team. I think there are some many nice characters and great people and I’m excited to be here. I think coach just expects to give everything you’ve got and I can bring to the team. I penetrate a lot to the basket, my rebounding is good, so I think that’s where I can help the team the most,” he said.
Standhardinger added that he is looking at this opportunity to proudly represent the homeland of his mother, who traces her roots in Angono, Rizal.
“I think it’s always a great opportunity for me to make my family here in the Philippines proud, so that’s why I decided to come here and give my best. It’s always a dream to play for a team, for a country you believe in so it’s like a dream come true,” he said.
For coach Chot Reyes, the Fil-German forward has already shown glimpses of what he can do to meet the management’s expectations of him.
“We know how he plays and we had a very good idea of what he brings to the team. But of course, he hasn’t been playing since May and then, he planed in last night from a long trip so admittedly, he’s gonna be far from a hundred percent. But like I said, the reason he’s here, he gives us a big guy who can rebound and he also has some skills,” he said. “We like his perimeter game, his ability to put the ball on the floor. I think he’s an all-around skilled guy but now, we need to see how he can cope with the physical game and the banging on the elite Asian level.”
Reyes was quick to integrate Standhardinger to the pool, putting him alongside his future national team partners Kobe Paras, Mac Belo, Bobby Ray Parks, and Raymar Jose in the team’s drills.
The outspoken mentor also shared his grand plans for the 6-foot-8 stud, noting that same as with Paras, Standhardinger is no doubt going to be a part of the national team’s future.
“That’s why he’s here. He’s 27, he’s been playing in the German pro leagues for quite a while, so it’s about time for him personally to get to the next level. And I think this is an excellent opportunity for him,” he said. “We’re not worried. He’s a good kid. I think he’ll come around.”
Reyes bared that Standhardinger will be in the country for the long run, as he expects him to stay past the SEA Games and hopefully, for the 2017 PBA Draft, pending the PBA Board of Governors’ meeting on Thursday.
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