HONG Kong Eastern expects Christian Standhardinger to play a full season for the reigning ABL champions despite the Fil-German's decision to apply for the PBA Rookie Draft this year.
Mike Heung, vice director of the Eastern Long Lions team, doesn't see any problem with Standhardinger applying for the PBA draft, saying he expects the 6-7 center to honor the contract he signed with the team.
"He is professional. Of course, he will commit (to) the contract," said Heung in an online interview with SPIN.ph.
If that's the case, Standhardinger will only be available for the PBA team that will pick him in the rookie draft in April when the 2016-2017 season of the ABL is expected to end.
KIA owns the No. 1 pick overall in the Ovt. 29 draft and Standhardinger is the consensus top pick after an impressive stint with Gilas in the Jones Cup, Fiba Asia Cup and the Southeast Asian Games.
Heung expects Standhardinger to boost the Eastern Lions with his passion and competitiveness.
"Getting Christian, of course, (makes us a) more complete team. Not only his level and background. I'm saying his passion, giving effort is the most important thing we like and need.
"I'm sure he can help the team very much this season," said Heung.
Hong Kong has retained last season's world import MVP Marcus Elliott as well as top locals Chan Siu-wing and Lee Ki for this season.
Heung said Standhardinger is doing well blending with his team.
"During the preseason, it's really tough for everyone. We run, (hold) team practice, and lifting in a day. He is doing good," said Heung.