CHRISTIAN Standhardinger is thrilled to play his first official game on Philippine soil on Sunday.
However, the Fil-German won't be donning the Philippine colors as he makes his debut for Hong Kong Eastern Sports Club in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).
Still, Standhardinger believes Filipino fans will come out to support him as the Long Lions take on Tanduay Alab Pilipinas at the Mall of Asia Arena.
"I mean, I think I have some fans, they're very loyal and I'm very happy about that," he said. "Maybe I have like five, six supporting us so I'm happy for each one of them and I think it's gonna be great."
Against the home team, the 6-foot-7 Standhardinger stressed the need to play at a high level from start to finish.
While the retooled Alab will be reinforced by enigmatic import Ivan Johnson as well as former national team gunner Dondon Hontiveros, Hong Kong’s big man Standhardinger believes Gilas teammate Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. will spell the difference in Sunday's tussle.
"Ray is a great player so we need to be really ready," he said of the two-time UAAP MVP. "Just shout out to my man, Ray. I know he's working hard so I need to work hard, too, to get that victory again."
Regardless of the outcome, the top overall pick in this year's PBA Rookie Draft will relish playing before the Filipino crowd.
"I can't wait. I can't wait for the fans coming out and for the support and I can't wait to show the Filipino people a great game," he said.