The duo that formed San Miguel’s dreaded twin-tower combination faced each other for the very first time in the PBA and Christian Standhardinger won round 1 of their highly anticipated face-off as the Fil-German led his new team to a 127-119 victory over June Mar Fajardo and the rest of the Beermen, Wednesday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Standhardinger tallied 18 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals as the Batang Pier followed-up their victory over Phoenix Pulse with an upset win over the Grand Slam-seeking franchise to improve to 3-4 in the team standings of the elimination round of the 2019 Governors’ Cup.
Fajardo, meanwhile, finished with a double-double of 22 points and 14 boards to backstop import Dez Wells who dropped a conference-high 56 points but still wasn’t enough as a NorthPort team energized with the arrival of the 2017 top overall pick just won’t be denied.
“Oh my God, I thought I did a great job. I worked my butt off to stop him. It’s so hard to stop this dude. He still scores 22 points and has a great percentage. He is a great, great basketball player,” said Standhardinger on his first meeting with the 5-time league MVP.
“I have nothing but respect for him. I thought I did a great job and you look at the stats sheet. That’s all I got for him. It won’t get better. I think he did a great job. I’m going to watch film to really figure out how I can do a better job against him,” he added.
The 30-year old center out of the University of Hawaii continued to heap praises on his former teammate whom he considers an admirable person in and out of the court.
“He is an awesome player and I just really have nothing but respect for the guy. Humble guy, great basketball player, great human being, what can I say. There’s a reason why he is like 20 times MVP,” said Standhardinger.