Standhardinger showing his worth in PBA Finals
Christian Standhardinger had everything that a PBA rookie needed to build up a hype package.
He had the size, the accomplishments, and the narrative even before he played his first game with San Miguel.
The 6-foot-8 Standhardinger was already an accomplished player after winning the MVP in ProA, Germany’s second-tier professional basketball league behind Basketball Bundesliga, and becoming a gold medalist as a member of the Philippine team in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games before San Miguel got him in the PBA Draft.
Standhardinger played his first game with the Beermen in the Commissioner’s Cup after finishing his contract with Hong Kong Eastern first in the Asean Basketball League.
And with San Miguel in the running for yet another title in the PBA’s middle conference, the 29-year-old big man said he’s just happy he can contribute for San Miguel to win.
“I’m just happy that I’m on the court, I’m just happy that I can contribute but mostly I’m happy when we win,” said Standhardinger Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
And Standhardinger was all smiles after putting up 20 points, seven rebounds, and five assists to help the Beermen clobber Barangay Ginebra 134-109 in Game 2 of the finals and even the series at 1-1.
“If you guys watch me there, if I play five minutes, 12 minutes, or 30 minutes, I don’t care as long as we win it’s going to be great and obviously, I’m just trying to help the team as much as I can.”
Standhardinger, however, wasn’t much of an impact player during the eliminations.
He averaged 12.2 points and 7.2 rebounds in five games during his injury-riddled conference.
Standhardinger, although producing solid numbers for a backup center behind four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, was still finding his niche within the San Miguel dynamic and oftentimes struggled to find his place in the court.
It was in the finals that he finally showed how he can operate as San Miguel’s stretch four while he shared the frontcourt with Fajardo.
In the finals, Standhardinger is averaging 23 points and 7.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting 62 percent from the field after two games. He had 26 points, eight rebounds and three assists in a losing effort in Game 1 on Friday.
“I had five assists today and that’s what I’m trying to bring to the court because we have so many great scorers like Alex [Cabagnot], June Mar, [Renaldo] Balkman,” said Standhardinger. “If I can contribute by sharing the ball, I think we’ll be fine.”
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