PBA allays disqualification fears, says Standhardinger excused from attending Draft Combine
Consensus top pick Christian Standhardinger was conspicuously missing from Day One of the PBA Draft Combine on Monday at the Hoops Center. Dante Peralta

CHRISTIAN Standhardinger can skip the two-day PBA Draft Combine and still have his name on the rookie pool on October 29.

So said PBA officials who explained that the consensus top pick of this year's freshman batch has long sought - and received - Commissioner Chito Narvasa's approval to skip the annual showcase among rookies.

Standhardinger's absence from the Draft Combine has raised fears that he will be disqualified from the draft, but PBA officials were quick to allay the concerns.

"Matagal ng nagpaalam kay Kom 'yon," Willie Marcial, PBA director for external communications, said when asked about the Fil-German's absence from Day One of the Draft Combine at the Hoops Center.

The Gilas standout later took to Twitter to explain his no-show, saying his contract with the Hong Kong Eastern Sports Club prevented him from attending the draft camp.

"Hi guys, Everything is good! It is understood that I am officially under contract in Hong Kong, so I could not be at the PBA Draft Combine," he posted on his account, @CStandhardinger, on Monday afternoon.

He promised to be there for the PBA draft.

"My agent has already informed PBA officials in advance. Looking forward to seeing you all at Draft Day!" he added ahead of the Draft on Sunday at Robinsons Place Manila.

Marcial said Narvasa also excused NCAA players seeing action in the playoffs from the rookie showcase, although Letran's Rey Nambatac decided to show up nonetheless.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos