Christian Standhardinger won round 1 of his much-anticipated match-up against June Mar Fajardo and the rest of the San Miguel Beermen after the injury plagued NorthPort squad pulled off a 127-119 upset over the Grand Slam-seeking team Wednesday night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
The 6-foot-8 Fil-German, who was dealt to the Batang Pier for fellow top overall pick Moala Tautuaa just 10 days ago, played a key role in his first meeting against his former team by dropping 18 points, hauling down 5 rebounds and issuing 7 assists to help his new team pick up the much-needed victory.
“I’m a basketball player. I played in Europe and I played everywhere. When I played for San Miguel, I played like 16 minutes a game. I say that very respectfully but I have to prove something to the coaching staff,” said Standhardinger shortly after the match.
“I have to prove to them that I think that they made a mistake. Maybe they didn’t make a mistake and they played me the right way because we won two championships and that’s okay. But me, as a player, I can’t just dig down and be like, ‘Okay, the coaching staff didn’t think I’m good and that’s how it is now.’ No,” added the 2-time PBA champion.
Standhardinger, who saw action for 45 minutes in his first game for NorthPort, posted averages of 3.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in just 12 minutes of playing time in his 4 games for the Beermen this conference prior to being traded.
“I’m trying to work my butt off to prove to them that I’m a good basketball player and that’s it. The comment I made, I hope there is no ill feelings. Again, I have nothing but respect for the San Miguel management,” explained Standhardinger.
“It’s nothing personal. I don’t want anybody of you guys to make it personal. Professionally, coach Leo thought that I’m not as good, that’s why he played me the minutes he played me and I think I’m good,” he added.