PBA: Christian Standhardinger steps up to help Ginebra end slide
MANILA, Philippines—Christian Standhardinger stepped up big time to help Ginebra snap its two-game losing skid in the PBA Governors’ Cup tournament on Sunday.
Standhardinger, who played extended minutes due to the Gin Kings’ deflated front court in the absence of Japeth Aguilar, said it was a must for him to show up in such an “important game.”
“At the beginning of the game, coach (Tim Cone) stressed the fact that this game was very important for us and he was very right with that statement. I’m happy that we came together,” said Standhardinger finished with 27 points, six rebounds and five assists in 36 minutes of play.
Standhardinger, the Finals MVP in the Commissioner’s Cup, also had an efficient shooting night, sinking 11 of his 16 attempts from the field as Ginebra dumped Blackwater, 119-93, at PhilSports Arena in Pasig.
Cone said it was vital for the Gin Kings to get back on track after absorbing back-to-back losses to Magnolia and San Miguel Beer.
“Coming out of the last two losses, they were tough losses. They were tough teams. You can bring your best game but you can still lose to a Magnolia or San Miguel,” explained the head tactician.
“We knew that we had to jump out of that and make sure we beat the teams that we needed to beat, that was on everybody’s mind we needed to come out and make sure we got one tonight,” he added.
Cone stressed there’s more work to be done for Ginebra, especially on the defensive end.
“I don’t think we’re playing with the same defensive level we were [playing with] last conference but I think offensively, these guys are getting better, especially our young guys.”
Cone’s concerns on the defensive end could be attributed to the absence of Aguilar, who is still expected to miss several weeks due to a knee sprain.
“He could be gone for between three to five weeks [more.] I would say he might be back late in the playoffs, we’ll see, but right now he is immobilized so we can’t really figure it out until he freezes his knee and starts exercising… right now he is purely immobilized. No testing going on, just complete rest for that knee,” said the multi-titled mentor.
Aguilar is averaging 13.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in two games for Ginebra this conference.
“Missing Japeth is a big hit for the team but that’s the great thing about this team, our other units know where to compensate for. Offensively, we have to outscore a little bit more to compensate for him but that comes with playing with the team,” said Standhardinger.
Apart from Standhardinger, Jamie Malonzo and Justin Brownlee also put in the work offensively with 25 and 22 points, respectively.
Currently holding a 4-2 record, Ginebra looks to keep the momentum going when it faces Meralco on March 1 at Araneta Coliseum.