TO say Christian Standhardinger was having a ball in Game 2 of the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals is quite an understatement.
As San Miguel tried to erase the bitter memories of Game 1, the Fil-German forward did his part on Sunday and finished with 20 points on a 7-of-11 shooting, on top of seven rebounds and five assists.
And that couldn’t be any more true late in the third quarter, when Standhardinger made a shocking behind-the-back pass to Renaldo Balkman for the two-handed flush to give the Beermen a 98-74 lead with 56.1 seconds to play in the frame.
“Sometimes, it just comes over me,” he said smiling. “I have that. I always had that. I did that in Hong Kong, too. I did that in Europe, too. I'm coming from Europe and that's what we do. It was always there. I just showcased it this time because the situation was appropriate.”
More than the play, Standhardinger was happy that the defending champions were able to equalize the series and turn it to a virtual best-of-five.
And for him, the biggest difference to this 29-point rout to San Miguel’s forgettable series opener boiled down to intensity.
“I think we changed our intensity. If you look at us tonight in the first half, we had great intensity and we just got to keep that up and we're going to be fine,” he said as the Beermen turn their attention to Wednesday’s Game 3 with emphasis still on limiting Gin Kings super-import Justin Brownlee.
“I think if we keep that intensity up, it's good. Obviously, Brownlee needs to be stopped, and that's why we're throwing (Renaldo) Balkman at him, me at him, and Matt (Ganuelas-Rosser) at him,” he said.
“As long as we can keep him a little bit on his heels, I think we'll be fine. He can't go 42 points with 5-from-5 from the three-point line again. He's playing tremendous but you know, that's why we need to adjust. And we did adjust today and we did a great job.”