CALVIN Abueva and Christian Standhardinger played down the commotion between them in the Gilas Pilipinas-Alaska tune-up game on Saturday as they looked forward to being national teammates in the future.
The Gilas Pilipinas veteran – who suited up for Alaska this time – and the Fil-German national team rookie were involved in a handful of physical plays that saw extra motion from both of them, even having words for each other when they retreated to their benches for a timeout late in the fourth quarter.
Abueva insisted it was nothing personal, saying he was just testing the limits of Standhardinger for the new Gilas recruit’s own good.
“Siyempre nagpapakilala lang as Abueva,” the Beast said with a chuckle before turning serious. “Wala naman, sa akin lang siyempre new one sa Gilas, pag tumagal-tagal siya na kagaya ko.”
“Sa akin, inuunahan ko na siya para makapaghanda na siya sa kung ano pang tune-up or ma-draft siya dito sa country natin,” he added of the German league veteran.
Standhardinger embraced Abueva’s antics, but was glad the national team had the last laugh in their friendly.
“It was nothing,” the 6-foot-8 forward said. “It was a close game, so emotions were running high. I like his intensity and I will shoot back with my intensity. And in the end, we won, so that’s good.”
Standhardinger said he knew Abueva is a Gilas veteran coming into the exhibition, but they were simply two competitive players trying to win.
“I have much respect for that (him being a Gilas veteran), but in the game, I don’t care,” Standhardinger said.
Asked what their choice words for each other were, Standhardinger said they were simply talking about their families.
“He asked me how my day is going and I asked him how his day is going,” the 28-year-old cager said with a smile. “Then he asked how my family is, and I said my mother is fine. He told me his grandma is feeling great, so that was what we talked about.”
ABUEVA, Standhardinger have words as they head to respective benches for a timeout, but both look forward to being Gilas teammates in future pic.twitter.com/Y6u8jW0hSh— Ariane Karlo Sacamos (@KarloSacamos) July 8, 2017
Abueva reiterated he was simply trying to toughen up Standhardinger.
“Tinest lang, walang personalan, kasi magiging teammate naman siguro kami after nito,” the Aces star said.
And did Standhardinger pass his test?
“Okay naman, pero may konting pikon lang siya,” Abueva admitted. “(Pero) ‘di pa rin naman nawawala yung game niya. Mabuti na lang nung last na tinamaan siya sa mukha, nilabas na agad siya ni coach. Di na napaaga yung bawi ko siguro pero sa huli na, siyempre sa crucial part na kailangan mag-focus.”
Standhardinger indeed refused to get rattled as he still finished with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting and 15 boards, while Abueva provided his energy as usual and converted numerous floaters for a total of 12 points in limited minutes.
In the end, Standhardinger welcomed Abueva as his future Gilas teammate.
“Yeah, I like it. Why not? Then we’ll have two heated heads on the court (as teammates),” the Gilas rookie said with a smile.