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    Standhardinger raring to return, but SMB not taking chances as playoffs near

    Mar 12, 2019
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    SAN Miguel Beer isn’t taking chances on Christian Standhardinger’s health.

    Coach Leo Austria said the team wants the sophomore big man fully healthy before being reactivated, hopefully come playoffs of the PBA Philippine Cup.

    The knee pain has kept Standhardinger out for the last four games of the Beermen’s campaign in the season-opening meet.

    “He can play but we don’t want to prolong his program because we want him to be back 100 percent because we know he could help us a lot,” said Austria of the 6-foot-7 Standhardinger.

    The San Miguel mentor said the team still defers to the Beermen’s physical therapist regarding the condition of the Team Pilipinas stalwart.

    “It’s up to the PT, but he keeps on improving with his body, especially yung kanyang legs,” said Austria. “Still 50 percent pa rin yung strength.”

    Even Standhardinger is raring to get back.

    "I don't know. I want to get back but it's frustrating," said the SMB big man when asked by SPIN.ph about an update on his injury on Sunday night.

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    Even in the absence of Standhardinger, the Beermen (6-3) kept on winning, good enough to line themselves up for a possible Top 2 finish and a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.

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    They clash with league-leader Phoenix Fuel Masters this Sunday in Panabo, Davao before capping their elimination-round campaign on March 24 against the Alaska Aces.

    By the quarterfinals, Austria is looking to have a healthy Standhardinger come on board.

    “Hopefully in the next few weeks, he’ll be able to recover because its playoff time,” said the San Miguel coach.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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