For Christian Standhardinger, it would be better if he could take some days off to rest his beaten body. But the Filipino-German forward just can’t find a reason to say no when Gilas Pilipinas comes knocking at his door.
Barely a day after his San Miguel Beermen lost to the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals, Standhardinger immediately buckled down for another tour of duty with Gilas on Thursday night.
“Of course I would like to have some free days, a week off or something like this. But you know, the country calls,” said the 29-year-old, who will suit up for Gilas in the 2018 Asian Games.
“It’s always an honor to play for the national team.”
Thursday marked his first practice session with the Asiad-bound Gilas, and his first experience of being under coach Yeng Guiao. Asked how his first practice had went, Standhardinger said that he likes the system being run.
“It was good. I had to get acquainted with the new plays. Last time I already learned but obviously it’s different when you run it,” he said. “But I really like the system, I like the plays. And I can’t wait to play the games with that concept.”
Standhardinger also expressed his delight over joining his new teammates, who are led by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters’ core of Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan, Maverick Ahanmisi, Gabe Norwood, Chris Tiu, and James Yap.
“I like them. I always wait ‘til I go to a team in the Philippines where I don’t like my teammates but I always get disappointed,” he quipped. “They seem like great guys.
“I think it’s just a culture to be great guys I guess.”
With regards to teammates, Standhardinger is relishing the moments he has spent – and will be spending – with Gilas’ eldest statesman in Asi Taulava, who might play in his third Asian Games since 2002.
“He’s a great guy, oh my God, a guy to look up to,” said Standhardinger. “Very accomplished, very experienced. If I still move when I’m his age, then you can congratulate me and give me a shoulder pat. Much, much respect for him.
“And that’s really a guy… I’m gonna pick his brains throughout the tournament,” he added.
“We’ll spend a lot of time and let’s see what he can give me for wisdom and knowledge to become a better basketball player.”