TEAM Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao is encouraging Christian Standhardinger to still attend the national squad’s preparation for the Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.
Standhardinger’s chances of making it to the final roster of the sixth and final World Cup qualifiers window dimmed with the inclusion of Andray Blatche to the 14-man pool. Blatche and Standhardinger are both considered naturalized players by Fiba, and under the international federation rules, only one naturalized player is allowed in Fiba-sanctioned competitions.
Guiao said Standhardinger was included just in case Blatche comes in to training camp out of shape. Blatche is scheduled to arrive in the country on February 1.
“Si Christian, sinama namin sa line-up. Insurance namin siya kay Blatche. Baka dumating si Blatche ng out of shape, masyadong late. Christian can always step in,” said Guiao.
Guiao said he will be speaking to Standhardinger to still come to Gilas practice before Blatche comes in, as the Fil-German standout remains an integral part of the country’s preparation for the sixth and final window of the Fiba World Cup qualifiers against Qatar and Kazakhstan on February 21 and 24 respectively.
“We invited him pero hindi ko pa siya nakakausap. Baka meron ding problema kung 50-50 siya na kung hindi niya alam kung kasama siya o hindi na baka panakip butas lang siya. Pero I’ll talk to him and try to convince him that it’s worth the sacrifice,” said Guiao.
“Kasi si Blatche naman, pagdating niya at nakita natin na in condition siya, puwede na nating ipahinga si Christian,” said Guiao.