I’D appreciate it if you can keep this page out of reach of Talk N Text and the six other teams
seeking the ouster of PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa, but I think Christian Standhardinger is
In fact, he is so damn good that PBA fans now say he could really be the next face of
And the more we see how good he plays the basketball, the more the seven PBA teams will
cry foul on how he ended up with the league’s winningest team.
You see, the No. 1 overall pick by San Miguel Beer in last month’s PBA Rookie Draft proved
he is good as advertised during Hong Kong Eastern Sports Club’s 92-89 win over Alab Pilipinas in
last Sunday's opening game of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The 6-7 Fil-German standout, who also played for Gilas Pilipinas in two international
tournaments early this year, lived up to expectations by leading the Hong Kong-based team to a
thrilling victory over the Ray Parks, Jr.-led Filipinos in his first game infront of an adoring
But more than providing the inspiration to his team, Standhardinger came up with more than
enough numbers to validate his claim as the biggest star of the night.
If getting the most points for Hong Kong Eastern was not enough, he grabbed the most
rebounds and blocked -- or altered -- the most shots to ensure the victory.
The 28-year-old Standhardinger was at his usual best in the endgame, hitting two big
baskets that broke the hearts of the home team, which rallied from 15 points down to keep the game
close and interesting.
Standhardinger’s numbers at the end of the night: 26 points, 14 rebounds.
“Standhardinger hits dagger after dagger vs Alab in smashing debut for Hong Kong,” wrote
sportswriter Reuben Terrado in his Spin.Ph report.
“I was so excited. The gym was full. What a great atmosphere. This is what I love about the
Philippines. Great basketball culture. We have a great basketball culture. That’s why I'm always happy
when I’m back here,” said Standhardinger after the game.
There were some boos from local Alab fans, but Standhardinger swore he didn’t mind.
“I didn’t hear the booing,” Standhardinger said later. “I (still) love the Filipino fans. If
they cheer me, or they boo me, it's okay. Nothing personal. It’s all good. It’s all love.”
One of the witnesses to Standhardinger's impressive game for Hong Kong was San Miguel Beer
coach Leo Austria.
And obviously, Austria liked what he saw.
Six months from now, Austria will have the luxury of playing Standhardinger alongside
four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo in the PBA.
This early, experts now describe the Fajardo-Standhardinger “Twin Towers” combination to be
as imposing and as breathtaking as the Petronas Towers in Malaysia.
But to the rest of the PBA, especially the seven teams which wanted Narvasa’s head for
approving the trade that sent Standhardinger from Kia Picanto to San Miguel Beer last month,
there’s one word that best describe the Fajardo-Standhardinger tandem.
Yes Clyde M., it’s an 11-letter word -- F-R-I-G-H-T-E-N-I-N-G.
And they haven’t even started yet.
* * *
Mark your calendar.
The 24th Philippine Basketball Association Press Corps (PBAPC) Awards Night will be held
as scheduled on Nov. 30 at the Gloria Maris Restaurant at the Gateway Mall in Cubao.
Highlight of the formal gathering is the presentation of the Virgilio ‘Baby’ Dalupan Coach of
the Year trophy named after the prodigious late mentor considered as one of the brilliant coaching
minds the country ever produced.
Also to be distinguished is the Danny Floro Executive of the Year award who’s being named
after the amiable former team owner of the fabled Crispa Redmanizers.
Since 1993, the recognition has been given out on a yearly basis by the PBAPC, composed of
the men and women representing the country’s daily broadsheets, tabloids, and websites who regularly
cover the PBA beat.
The awards are also separate from the regular ones handed out by the pro league at season’s
The official PBAPC Facebook page would be launched during the affair to be hosted by lovely
courtside reporter Rizza Diaz and veteran broadcaster Sev Sarmenta.
NOTES -- Advance happy birthday to my youngest son, Brian Paul M. Andaya, who will turn 21
on No. 25. An Information Technology student at Far Eastern University, Brian is one of my three
basketball-loving sons who could hold their ground as we discuss nothing but basketball from sunrise
to sunset. He is also an avid Russell Westbrook and OKC Thunder fan.