MANILA — Sophomore Christian Standhardinger didn’t lose time in showing his real worth, making an immediate impact right in his first outing for new team NorthPort in the PBA Governors Cup.
That his breakout game for the Batang Pier came at the expense of former ballclub San Miguel Beer made the experience all the more sweeter.
Standhardinger came through with 18 points, five rebounds, seven assists, and two steals as NorthPort outgunned Dezmine Wells and the mighty Beermen, 127-119, at the Astrodome.
It was somewhat an emotional game for the 6-foot-7 Standhardinger as he was playing his first game since being dealt by the Beermen to the Batang Pier in a straight-up trade consummated two weeks ago.
The 6-foot-7 Standhardinger didn’t mince words that his all-around effort was borne out of his desire to prove himself worthy against the team that went out of its way to make him the top overall pick in the 2017 PBA draft.
“I have to prove to them that I think they made a mistake,” he said afterwards. “I got to be the player I can be and play my heart out to prove to the (San Miguel) coaching staff, to coach Leo that he could have played me more. I could have more. And now that’s how it is.”
The hard work did pay off as Standhardinger was the runaway choice as the PBA Press Corps-Cignal Player of the Week for the period October 21-27.
Standhardinger’s NorthPort teammate Jervy Cruz was the only other player who received a vote for the weekly citation.
Cruz led all local Batang Pier scorers with 21 points and 10 rebounds on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor.
But it was Standhardinger’s jumper from 18 feet inside the final minute that proved to be the dagger for NorthPort as it quashed a last-ditch effort by the rallying Beermen.
Other than the two NorthPort players, others considered for the weekly award were Kiefer Ravena of NLEX, Alaska’s Jeron Teng and Abu Tratter, Scottie Thompson of Barangay Ginebra, Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang and Jio Jalalon, Meralco’s Baser Amer, Rey Nambatac of Rain or Shine and Columbian Dyip’s CJ Perez and Rashawn McCarthy. /PNP- northboundasia.com