THE rivalry between Christian Standhardinger and Calvin Abueva took a new twist in Game Three of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.
In a highly physical Easter Sunday game, Phoenix forward Abueva was called for a flagrant foul 2 by the referees for supposedly tripping Standhardinger with 5:16 left in the second quarter.
The call was later downgraded to an ordinary foul after replays showed that Abueva didn't even get into contact with Standhardinger in the play and that the San Miguel big man tripped on his own.
Standhardinger, however, insisted that he felt like he was tripped, but nevertheless said he is not taking that incident or any other Game Two incident personally.
“I didn’t trip on my own. Obviously, he nudged me a little but it’s part of the game. He is still mad at me for the last game but I love him. We are friends forever,” said Standhardinger, the first overall pick of San Miguel in the 2017 draft.
“I’m sure he tripped me, maybe he didn’t trip me. I don’t know. But I feel like he tripped me. There’s no problem. He is a good guy. That’s what happens,” said Standhardinger.
The incident occurred a game after Standhardinger and Abueva were slapped with fines of P20,000 and P15,000, respectively. Standhardinger was ejected for hitting Abueva in the groin while Abueva was penalized for flashing a dirty finger.