The feeling of excitement and admiration is mutual for both June Mar Fajardo and Christian Standhardinger.
The two San Miguel behemoths will soon team up to form what could be the mightiest twin towers in PBA history.
The 6’11” Fajardo, a four-time MVP, was all smiles after the 6’8” Standhardinger made a huge splash in his Asean Basketball League debut, leading the defending champions Hong Kong Eastern to a 92-89 victory over Alab Pilipinas last Sunday night. The Fil-German standout, who is the top overall pick in this year’s PBA rookie draft, poured 26 points, including his team’s last two baskets that sealed the win for the visiting team from Hong Kong. The 28-year-old big man, who played for the Philippines in three international tournaments this year, also grabbed 14 rebounds.
Fajardo said Standhardinger’s awesome performance was no surprise to him since he had already teamed up with the sensational rookie playing for Gilas Pilipinas during the FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut, Lebanon last August.
The 27-year-old Fajardo said Standhardinger will surely be a force to reckon with when he starts playing for SMB in next year’s Commissioner’s Cup.
“Alam naman natin yung laro ni Christian. Alam naman natin kung ano yung puwede niyang maitulong sa amin,” Fajardo to Spin.com in a recent interview.
Fajardo said Standhardinger is a monster on both ends of the court. “Nakita na rin naman natin siyang maglaro sa Gilas. Andun yung hustle niya, yung rebounding, tapos may opensa rin naman siya,” he said.
Fajardo lauded Standhardinger’s maturity as a player, saying the SMB rookie is actually more experienced than him.
“Sobrang mature niya na. Siya nga yung marami ng experience sa akin internationally,” the Cebuano prodigy said.
However, for their twin towers combination to click, teamwork is necessary, Fajardo said, vowing to help his partner adjust to the playing style in the PBA.
Standhardinger was likewise full of praise for Fajardo, saying he’s excited to team up with the player nicknamed “The Kraken.”
“I’m very excited. June Mar’s a great talent, he can do so many things,” he told reporters on the night he was picked by SMB as its top draft pick on Oct. 29.
“I’m very excited of playing high-low with June Mar and it’s an honor. It’s a great thing that I can play with the four-time reigning MVP. That’s what I got,” he added.