TAIPEI - Until around two-and-a-half months ago when Gilas Pilipinas officials got in touch with his agents, Christian Standhardinger never imagined that he would be playing basketball for the national team of his mother's homeland.
Now he has a wide range of options for him in the Philippines.
The Munich-born bruiser took just three games to show the stuff he's made of, averaging a double-double with 11.33 rebounds and 10.66 rebounds while helping the Philippines get off to a 2-1 start in the 39th William Jones Cup.
But more than the numbers, what has been gaining Standhardinger his share of attention is the tenacity, physicality and blue-collar work ethic he brings to the table during games.
The guy is a workhorse.
"There never seems to be interest in me," Standhardinger, 28, said when asked why he had not come to the Philippines sooner after a stint with two Division I schools in US NCAA.
"The coach knows exactly the kind of player he wants and I’m glad that I’m one of them now and may be in the past I was not ready yet or I wasn’t good enough."
Now he has a number of options on the table. He is set to play as a naturalized player for Gilas in the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur and, depending on Andray Blatche's availability, may end up joining the team in the Fiba Asia Cup and World Cup qualifiers.
Since he's currently a free agent in Germany's national league where he has had experience in both Division I and II, Standhardinger has the option of applying for the next PBA rookie draft without having to go through the D-League - thanks to his stint with the national team.
But at the moment, Standhardinger said the PBA is just that: an option.
"It’s just an option," the lanky slotman, whose mother Liz traces her roots to Angono, Rizal, said after the 93-82 Gilas win over Taipei B on Monday afternoon.
What he's sure of is that he will bring boundless energy and work ethic to any team he plays for in the future.
"Yesterday, I looked very good, 17 (points) and 15 (rebounds) I think," he said. "This game, the same effort but sometimes, the ball flies somewhere else. Matt (Wright) made a lot of shots and I was able to box out my man and that’s okay for me, helping with everything I can for this team to win.
"And I’m as proud of this game as I am of the last game because I had important stops and I think I was able to influence the game. That is my job and that is what I wanna do."