CHRISTIAN Standhardinger welcomed the inclusion of Andray Blatche in the Team Pilipinas pool even if it will keep him out of the national squad in the final window of the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers.
Blatche has been recalled for make-or-break away matches against Qatar and Kazakhstan next month, bumping off fellow naturalized player Stanley Pringle from the pool and relegating Standhardinger to a reserve role.
That is no problem at all for the Fil-German Standhardinger.
“To be honest, I’m very happy,” he said. “If you see my knee, I’ve recovered [from the injury] but I have to build strength now. I’m so happy that Blatche is part of the pool. Blatche is a great basketball player and he is going to carry the torch. And he is going to be great.”
“I really have to focus on recovering my knee and focus on San Miguel,” Standhardinger added.
Only one naturalized player is allowed to play in Fiba-sanctioned tournaments per team. Standhardinger and Pringle are considered naturalized players by Fiba because they failed to secure Philippine passports before turning 16.
Standhardinger made it clear he is ready to play for Gilas once again if called upon.
“If they need me, they know, everybody knows, if they call me up, I play, injured or not injured. But right now, I’m very happy that they have Blatche. Blatche will carry it and Blatche is a great basketball player. I don’t have a bad feeling."