TAIPEI - The relationship between Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes and Christian Standhardinger got an early test after the Fil-German new boy delivered a 'cheap shot' at an Iraqi player in a highly physical Jones Cup match on Thursday night.
Standhardinger had already been in and out of the game for three quarters but earned the Gilas coach's ire when he hit Dhulfiqar Al-hchaimi during a television timeout with the Philippines up by a wide margin, 73-58, and time down to the game's final 4:55.
Reyes was so angry that he ordered his 6-foot-8 slotman to leave the bench and head straight to the dugout.
"Pinabalik ko nga sa dugout dahil what he did was absolutely unacceptable," Reyes said after Gilas' 84-75 win over Iraq - the same team it is set to face in the group phase of the Fiba Asia Cup in Lebanon next month. "Not only did he put himself in danger, he also put the entire team in danger.
"Now I think they understand that we won't tolerate such things."
It turned out Reyes didn't need to send Standhardinger back to the locker room. The Gilas slotman was slapped a second technical for the cheap shot and was thrown out after a review.
He finished with four points and three rebounds in 9:11 minutes.
Bruiser Carl Bryan Cruz wasn't spared Reyes' wrath as he also got a tongue-lashing from the coach in a hot-tempered game that tested the national team's toughness and maturity.
"I didn't like some of the extra stuff that my other guys did so I took them out of the game. There's a fine line between being tough and being downright dirty and that's not us. That's not Gilas basketball," said Reyes.
"I told them in the huddle that we may lose the game but we're not going to play that way. We're going to be tough, we're going to be strong, we're going to be physical but we're not going to cross the line."
Standhardinger was a picture of frustration inside the dugout after the game, sitting in one corner while the team prepared for a final huddle.