THE sight of Fil-German Christian Standhardinger playing for Gilas Pilipinas is welcome news for a national team that risks being without veteran players in the Fiba Asia Cup.
No one is prouder than his Filipina mom Liz.
"Of course I'm proud of him. We are very proud of him," Liz, whose full maiden name is Elizabeth Santos Hermoso and traces her roots to Angono, Rizal, told SPIN.ph in an interview.
Liz spoke just a day after the 6-8 Standhardinger, a US NCAA veteran who plays in Germany's pro league, was named to the Gilas teams to the Jones Cup and the Southeast Asian Games as well as the pool from where the Fiba Asia Cup side will be formed.
The pony-tailed Standhardinger has done everything to make her mom proud so far, faring admirably in the three tune-up games Gilas has played so far and proving to be the inside presence the Philippines' SEA Games team desperately needs.
On Saturday, Standhardinger played his best game yet in a Gilas uniform as he churned out 15 points and 15 rebounds in a 120-117 win over Alaska.
He also showed his toughness by engaging Calvin Abueva in a verbal tussle.
Too bad Liz can't personally show her support for Christian when he makes his international debut for Gilas in the Jones Cup in Taipei next week, but the proud mom said what matters now is seeing her son fly the flag for the land of her birth.
His grandfather, Boy Hermoso, is just as happy.
Liz said Hermoso, who played for Shell in the CYMCA basketball championship in the fifties, was the one who introduced the sport to the 28-year-old slotman while growing up in a football country.
"The one who is the most proud, is my father, Boy (Pablo) Hermoso," she said. "My father introduced him to the game of basketball. Both wake up at six in the morning and they played basketball in the park."
Standhardinger, who has been given the Fiba go-signal to play for the Philippines as a naturalized player (he failed to get a Philippine passport before he turned 16 and is therefore not eligible to play as a local), was non-committal when asked about taking his act to the PBA.
But if the family has their way, Liz said they wish to see Christian play in the PBA now that he got a taste of the Filipino style of play.
But Liz said the decision is only his son's to make.
"Of course, I want him to play in the PBA, if it is the best for him. But you cannot say I want him more to play in the PBA than in Germany or want him more to play in Germany than in the PBA. He has an agent. And he decides it with his agent," she said.
"I wanted only what is best for him. For the family though, it is of course, PBA. Home is home."