CHRISTIAN Standhardinger won’t deny that it felt good to be back on the court once again for San Miguel.
Inactive for the last month and missing the last six games due to an injured knee, the Fil-German forward was out and about for the Beermen the moment he checked in with 12.9 seconds left in the first quarter.
“It just felt good to be out there again and yes, it was also exciting,” he said, finishing with nine points on a 3-of-5 shooting from the field, alongside five rebounds, an assist, and a steal in the Beermen’s 92-79 Game One semifinal win against Alaska on Saturday.
With Standhardinger providing the necessary jolt off the bench, San Miguel took full control of the game which even saw it grab a 19-point edge, 61-42, early in the third quarter and stave off numerous rallies from Alaska.
He also allayed fears on his injury and said that he’s “100-percent healthy now and I can go however long they wanna play me. My knee is good and I’m 100-percent recovered.”
That is just the kind of good news coach Leo Austria would love to hear as Standhardinger’s return to the lineup gives the Beermen another body to bang down low.
“Everybody was so happy dahil we're expecting him to help a lot dito sa team namin and makikita mo na he's very eager to play,” the mentor said as the 29-year-old slotman joined San Miguel’s big men rotation of June Mar Fajardo, import Renaldo Balkman, and Kelly Nabong. “Talagang distributed yung time and as much as possible, we want to give him time dahil he's really an asset to the team, especially in the coming series if we win this series. If we’re up against Rain or Shine or Ginebra, we can utilize him more.”
For Standhardinger, though, he reiterated his motto the moment he first donned that San Miguel jersey.
“Whatever is needed, if it's rebounding or defense I will adjust because our goal is to win the championship.”