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Fil-German set to join HK club in ABL

By: Jerome Lagunzad

Bruising big man Christian Standhardinger is providing immense help to Gilas Pilipinas’ title campaign in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup but he is bound to break his compatriots’ collective hearts soon.

The 6-foot-8 Fil-German is set to suit up for Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions in the coming ASEAN Basketball League season, giving the reigning champions another potent weapon in their bid for a second straight crown.

The stunning development was announced as early as last Friday by sports agency YouFirst on its Twitter account and was later confirmed by German sports website basketball.de, with Standhardinger also set to see action in Hong Kong’s top-tier league.

For sure, it won’t be any welcome news to Alab Pilipinas, the country’s representative in the regional league which will now be handled by former Gilas Pilipinas skipper Jimmy Alapag.

Standhardinger, 28, is currently turning heads on his second tour of duty with the Nationals in the ongoing Lebanon joust, averaging 15.5 points anchored on a solid 66.7 percent shooting clip on top 6.5 rebounds in two games while leading Gilas to an outright quarterfinal spot.

Barring any change of heart, Standhardinger can still apply for the pro league’s rookie draft slated late this year but he can only play for his eventual PBA team in the second conference – the Commissioner’s Cup – since the ABL season will run from November to March.

Standhardinger, whose mother traces her roots to Angono, Rizal, sat out Gilas’ 80-74 victory over Qatar in its final Group B assignment last Sunday, but vowed to return to action tomorrow against archrival South Korea with a semifinal berth on the line.