CHRISTIAN Standhardinger was very grateful Yeng Guiao guaranteed him a spot to the Philippine team competing in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia despite missing the first day of practice on Monday.
“That shows that coach believes in me as a player and I appreciate that,” he said.
Standhardinger was the first of the nine names Guiao mentioned as shoo-ins for the 12-man roster and on Tuesday, finally made his presence felt.
The Fil-German forward, however, remained on the sidelines as the natinonals trained, with San Miguel preparing for a crucial Game Six tiff in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals against Ginebra on Wednesday.
Standhardinger said that Guiao understands his situation, and the Fil-German vowed to give his full focus to the national team once the best-of-seven championship series is over.
“With San Miguel in the Finals, I can't do too much and that's the reason why I couldn't go to practice yesterday. But now everything is clear. I'm here and I'm watching,” he said.
“My main focus is on San Miguel and after that, I can put my full focus and concentration (to the Philippine team) to win in this tournament.”
Though he isn’t active in joining Guiao’s drills, the 29-year-old center showed a lot of interest as he was all ears in every play mapped out by the coaching staff.
And this early, Standhardinger said that he has gotten a grasp on how the new system is run.
“I saw the plays already and we did a great job. They’re making it as simple as possible for us because we are a new team. The plays are simple and we don’t have too many of those, and I think I'm very confident that I can learn them fast and I can execute as good as they're meant to be,” he said.
Standhardinger acknowledges that the situation isn’t ideal for the Philippines, but he’s coming in confident that once the ball is tipped in Jakarta, this batch will be one cohesive unit proudly fighting for flag and country.
“We only have two weeks to prepare, with me even being out for maybe like five days of those. Obviously, this is a new team completely we’re putting together, so we have our obstacles,” he said.
“But I think that's where we as Filipinos play the best: fight to the end and show the puso. And so I'm confident and I hope that we will bring that on the court and be as successful as possible.”