HE was picked ahead of Kiefer Ravena in last year’s PBA Draft, but Christian Stanhardinger is standing behind his draft batchmate and Gilas Pilipinas teammate in a trying time early in his pro career.
Standhardinger, the first overall pick in the 2017 draft, joined the chorus of people supporting the under-fire Ravena after he was suspended by Fiba for a year and a half for testing positive for three banned substances following a World Cup qualifying game.
“I've been seeing a lot of bad comments regarding that, regarding Kiefer's character, and that's just complete... I don't know if I can use the word, but bullsh*t,” Standhardinger said after San Miguel Beer’s 106-94 win over Phoenix in the Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday night.
“Kiefer is a great guy, he's a very responsible guy, he's a great Gilas teammate,” he added.
Standhardinger pointed out the list of banned substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency is so long that it’s easy for any other athlete to fall prey and ingest a prohibited drug.
“If you guys check the FIBA application - nothing against the FIBA - there's so many substances, it's a long list. So it's very hard,” Standhardinger said.
“It's very easy to just have an error and make a mistake there,” he added. “I think Kiefer apologized, and Kiefer will have ... I mean, that's a big punishment, being out for 18 months, and that's his punishment. There should not be any bad comments or bad-mouthing, or shaming.”
“He took responsibility, what more do you want him to do?” he continued.
Nevertheless, Standhardinger is using the unfortunate incident as a wake-up call to himself and his fellow athletes.
“I think that it's a good learning point for all of the Gilas players, but I think Kiefer is handling the situation great, and with a lot of character and responsibility,” the Filipino-German standout said.