ANTIPOLO – Christian Standhardinger pointed out the free-throw discrepancy that he felt factored in San Miguel Beer’s 123-119 overtime loss to Rain or Shine in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday night.
The Elasto Painters shot 28 more free throws than the Beermen, who committed more fouls than ROS, 32-23, as SMB remained winless in two games in their title-retention campaign.
“Well, of course it is a little hard when they shoot 44 free throws and we shoot, what, 12? Sixteen,” Standhardinger said. “It's always hard to win a game like this. I had the impression that they were the physical team, and not us.”
“But we just gotta play through it,” the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 Draft added.
SMB coach Leo Austria echoed his ward's sentiments, saying the free-throw disparity had an "impact" in the game.
After a quiet debut that saw him put up just four points on 2-of-5 shooting and five boards, Standhardinger was more aggressive against the E-Painters as he finished with 17 points – 15 in the first half – on 8-of-20 shooting, 15 rebounds, and four assists in 35 minutes.
Still, the Filipino-German standout felt he still needs to adapt better to the physical brand of basketball in the country.
“I'm literally making big adjustments. I literally have to ... I'm gonna lift heavier weights to be stronger, because this is a... How do I say this? This is like a different sport, a little bit,” the 6-foot-8 power forward said. “I'm learning a different sport. It's a lot of grabbing, holding.”
“Now I know why in Gilas, when we play in Gilas, I'm wondering why we're always in team fouls, because here is a country that you call so much less, and you let play more things, while in Europe, as soon as you don't have position anymore as a defender, that's it,” he added. “Here, you can kind of like, come from the side, and still run him out of his lane, which is a new adjustment I have to make.”