There has been much curiosity online when Christian Standhardinger made his much-awaited debut for Barangay Ginebra San Miguel last Sunday.
While many have been intrigued as to how he would blend in with the reigning PBA Philippine Cup champions, some took notice of a major change he showed in their season opener versus NLEX: his free throw shooting.
Known to shoot with his right hand, the Fil-German bruiser took his charities by using the opposite. And he did so again five days later when the Barangay took on the skidding Blackwater at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
It marks yet another alteration to his free throw routine. It could be remembered that such got slightly modified during his time with San Miguel Beer, although he was still shooting with his right. So, what’s with the switch?
“It’s an interesting story
“He tells us that he was a left-hander when he grew up. And his father, at the time, forced him to play right-handed so he plays tennis right-handed, he plays golf right-handed, anything,” said head coach Tim Cone, when finally asked about Standhardinger’s decision to shoot FTs with his left.
“But he says he’s a natural left-hander. And when I arrived to practice, he was already shooting left-handed shots during our first practice together. And we just decided if that’s where he feels comfortable with, let him do it,” he continued.
Has it been working? Looking at the numbers, Standhardinger shot just 2-of-4 from the stripe in their 75-94 loss to the Road Warriors. And he made 50-percent again versus the Bossing by going 5-of-10, helping his side win 96-81.
Back in the Philippine Cup bubble last year when he was still with NorthPort, the former BPC shot just 49.4-percent of his freebies across 11 games.
The accuracy may have improved just slightly, but Cone is fully supportive of that change. And he believes, too, that his new Gin King will eventually reap the benefits of the work he’s been putting in with his new shot.
“Actually, his form — and this is something he’ll tell you — with his left hand is much better than his form with his right hand,” he said.
“He’s been working and working and working hard on it, and he’s been making 70, 80 percent of his free throws in practice, so we’re all for it. But he can’t suddenly just turn around and be a left-hander during the game, you know, during the up-and-down action. He’s still gotta play with his right hand because that’s the one he’s used to playing with,” the 23-time champion coach continued.
“But free-throw shooting? I have full support for that left hand. He shoots it with great form.”