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Standhardinger poses big problem for Gilas rivals

Christian Standhardinger

Christian Standhardinger

By JONAS TERRADO

Christian Standhardinger is probably taking pride in becoming one of the major concerns of rival teams in the FIBA Asia Cup after his impressive performance in Gilas Pilipinas’ first two games in the tournament held in Beirut, Lebanon.

The 6-foot-8 Standhardinger seems to be allergic to stage fright in his first appearance in Asia’s biggest basketball competition, leaving an imprint in Gilas’ stunning win over China and the stirring windup over Iraq that assured the Filipino cagers a spot in the quarterfinals of the Lebanon joust.

His averages of 15.5 points and 6.5 rebounds at presstime have been produced in a kind of unorthodox way, getting baskets off drop-offs mainly from Jayson Castro while displaying the fighting attitude rarely seen from Fil-foreign players, particularly on the defensive end.

China and Iraq found Standhardinger a big problem, a thing that Standhardinger had hoped for prior to Gilas’ departure for Beirut.

“I hope that they will not like playing against me,” Standhardinger said after Gilas’ last practice in Manila more than a week ago.

Standhardinger’s performance in the continental tournament have made him endear with Filipino fans who had seen the 28-year-old for the first time. It also raised speculations about his immediate future.

At this point, observers see him as a potential top pick in October’s PBA draft alongside Kiefer Ravena, Ray Parks Jr. and Jeron Teng to name a few. Standhardinger has until Sept. 2 – the deadline for Fil-foreigners – to place his name in the said proceedings.

PBA teams were also impressed with the way he performed in tune-up games while representing the young Gilas squad that played in last month’s William Jones Cup in Taiwan. Some coaches have made Standhardinger a possible option.

For now, Standhardinger will center his focus on playing for flag and country in this busy month of August. He will fly over the Kuala Lumpur following the Asia Cup to reunite with the Cadets for the Southeast Asian Games.

Those teams facing Gilas in the Malaysian capital may not like the challenge of taking on Christian Standhardinger.

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