CHRISTIAN Standhardinger believes San Miguel will still be a formidable team even without the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals especially now the Beermen are in full strength following the return of June Mar Fajardo.
The Beermen are no longer in contention for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals heading into their final elimination round match against Meralco on Saturday. Still, the Beermen have been on a roll to cap off the eliminations having won four straight matches after a slow start.
“This is the San Miguel way I guess,” said Standhardinger. “I hope I don’t eat my words and I can be wrong but we play our best basketball at the end of the season when it counts the most.”
Standhardinger said there will be no let-up for the Beermen ahead of their match against the Bolts as they are seeking to finish the elimination round on a high.
“I think we are a tough team to play against even if we don’t make it to the top four. We just have to keep going, work hard, and hopefully get lucky and luck will be on our side,” Standhardinger said.
Standhardinger has been picking up the slack for the Beermen in the absence of Fajardo, who was out for two months due to a stress fracture in his right shin. The Fil-German’s efforts has rewarded him the Cignal-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week recently.
“I’m surprised myself,” said Standhardinger, when asked about his stellar play this conference as he is averaging 25 points and 13.2 rebounds in the Governors’ Cup. “Alex (Cabagnot), Chris (Ross), and Marcio (Lassiter), they do a great job of giving me the ball when needed. We really learn to play together. I see them open. I know exactly where they want the ball as well. A lot of credit to those guys.”
Looking ahead, Standhardinger is just glad that the Beermen will finally have a healthy Fajardo very soon.
“Happy that June Mar is back and now is the time that we have to play our best basketball. He is a very important part of the puzzle piece… He is not completely back but for the morale of the team, it means a lot for us to see June Mar out there again,” Standhardinger said.