In the absence of Japeth Aguilar, Christian Standhardinger has been stepping up to carry the load for Ginebra.
The Fil-German big man has been on fire, churning out near triple-double averages in the Kings’ last three games, including wins against playoff-bound teams Meralco and Converge.
During this three-game winning streak, Standhardinger recorded 29 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game, paving the way for the defending champions to catch up with San Miguel in second place with a 7-2 record. His impressive performance earned him the unanimous choice as the Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of March 1-5.
Despite the accolades, Standhardinger remains humble, focusing on the team’s success rather than his individual achievements. He recognizes the importance of filling the void left by Aguilar’s absence and credits his teammates and coaches for his success.
“I’m just doing my job, and I’m glad I can help the team win,” said Standhardinger. “Coach Tim Cone has put his trust in me, and my teammates have been great in supporting me.”
Coach Cone, a veteran coach with multiple championships under his belt, lauded Standhardinger for his performance, acknowledging his pivotal role in the team’s recent success.
“With Japeth out, he’s getting the heavier minutes, and we have to go to him. And he’s responding big, big time,” said Cone.
Standhardinger began his assault with a 31-10-7 stat line against Ginebra rival Meralco in a 112-107 come-from-behind win, showcasing his versatility and all-around game. He followed it up with a 28-12-8 job in a 109-89 blowout of Phoenix, proving that his previous performance was no fluke.
He maintained almost the same number as the Kings denied the FiberXers a Top 4 finish behind a 120-101 runaway victory where Standhardinger finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists.
Calvin Abueva of Magnolia and Aaron Black of Meralco received votes as the third choices for the weekly plum.