San Miguel Beermen rookie Christian Standhardinger played a much better game compared to his PBA debut four nights ago against the Meralco Bolts. It didn’t amount to much, however, as the defending champions suffered the same fate.
The 6-foot-8 Fil-German contributed 17 points, 15 rebounds and 4 assists in his 2nd game but it wasn’t enough to propel his team to victory. The Beermen fell to 0-2 after a stinging 119-123 overtime loss to Rain or Shine.
Standhardinger pointed to the free throw disparity as a telling factor in the defeat which also saw the early disqualification of SMB import Troy Gillenwater due to physical contact with the referee.
The Beermen were called for 31 fouls compared to 22 for the Elasto Painters. The recent Philippine Cup champions were awarded 16 free throws, making 11, while Rain or Shine converted 33 out of 44 for a difference of 28 attempts and 22 points.
“Well, of course it is a little hard when they shoot 44 free throws and we shoot, what, 12? 16. It’s always hard to win a game like this. I had the impression that they were the physical team, and not us,” said the top overall pick of the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft.
The SMB rookie admits that he is still not yet accustomed to the physical brand of basketball of the league and compares it to learning a new sport.
“I’m literally making big adjustments. I literally have to. I’m gonna lift heavier weights to be stronger, because this is like a different sport, a little bit. I’m learning a different sport. It’s a lot of grabbing, holding.”