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    You have to admire Standhardinger's commitment to PH team

    Aug 6, 2018
    Playing though pain since the Fiba 3x3 World Cup, Christian Standhardinger is set to don the national colors anew.
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    CHRISTIAN Standhardinger doesn't mind if his long-overdue rest is delayed further.

    The good soldier that he is, flag and country come first.

    The San Miguel rookie accepted without hesitation his latest stint with the men's national team after being named by coach Yeng Guiao as part of his lineup for the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia.

    The call-up meant no rest for the weary body of the 28-year-old Fil-German, who is currently in the middle of the war with San Miguel Beer against Barangay Ginebra in a best-of-seven championship series.

    It's no secret Standhardinger has yet to fully recover from a knee injury that stymied his first stint with the Beermen this conference.

    "Actually I try to use the break to really strengthen my left knee," he said just a few hours after being officially announced as part of the basketball delegation to the quadrennial meet that kicks off on August 18

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    “But the country calls," he was quick to acknowledge

    "I really want to represent the country. I want to make my fellow Filipinos proud. And I hope we can do that."

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      Standhardinger has been consistently donning the national colors since first playing for Gilas in the FIBA Asia Championship last year.

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      He was also a part of the team that retained the basketball gold in the Malaysia Southeast Asian Games a year ago and only recently, saw action for the country in the 3x3 FIBA World Cup here.

      But despite the continuous service, Standhardinger doesn't get tired representing the country, injury or no injury.

      "I'm very proud and very honored to be part of the national team again. And I hope we will be victorious," he said.

      The 6-foot-7 Standhardinger is one of eight players outside of the Rain or Shine core which Guiao selected from the other PBA ballclubs that includes his former players (Paul Lee), and Don Trollano (TnT Katropa), Stanley Pringle (Globalport), JP Erram (Blackwater) and Asi Taulava (NLEX), along with cadets Kobe Paras and Richie Rivero.

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      Not only is he excited playing for the national team whose core is not exactly made up of Gilas players, but Standhardinger is also thrilled being coached for the first time by a person not named Chot Reyes.

      “I'm excited to see what the playing style of the coach is, what system is he gonna bring in to be successful," he said.

      Standhardinger didn't actually know that he was named to the team and only learned about it just before Game Five at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

      He later credited the men behind the scene who were responsible for convincing the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipjnas from changing its mind and instead, send a cage team to Indonesia.

      "Great job by the way, whoever made it happened," said Standhardinger.

      “I heard we pulled out, and then somebody made sure that we're going. So I'm happy to hear that."

      In the absence of Asia-Ocenia powers Australia and New Zealand, the San Miguel big man considers traditional rivals China, South Korea, and Iran as the biggest stumbling blocks in the country's bid.

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      “I hope we can go all-out and make the country proud," said Standhardinger.

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      Playing though pain since the Fiba 3x3 World Cup, Christian Standhardinger is set to don the national colors anew.
      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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