DOES he even get tired?
A day after playing a new pro league record 61 minutes in NorthPort’s gripping 126-123 decision over NLEX in triple overtime in their PBA Governors Cup do-or-die quarterfinals duel last Wednesday night, Fil-German Christian Standhardinger was the first player who showed up in Gilas Pilipinas’ practice yesterday at the Upper Deck Gym in Pasig.
Coach Tim Cone marveled at Standhardinger’s dedication to Gilas even after a taxing game.
“He (Standhardinger) is amazing. He was the first one here by the way. And he was doing drills with (assistant) coach Kirk (Collier) before anybody came in. He was working way before we even got here,” Cone was quoted as saying by online sports portal spin.ph.
“I was like, look and then go, ‘Are you kidding me?’ But he is here,” he added.
With Standhardinger leading the way, the No. 8 Batang Pier completed the ouster of the No. 1 Road Warriors and clinched a semis slot opposite Ginebra in the season-ending tourney.
Apart from the 6-foot-8 Standhardinger, the Kings’ LA Tenorio, Stanley Pringle, and Japeth Aguilar spearhead the 12-man Gilas squad for the biennial meet.
Completing the team are San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, and Chris Ross; Troy Rosario of TNT; Vic Manuel of Alaska; Phoenix’s Matthew Wright; and Kiefer Ravena of NLEX.
All players in the team, except Ravena, who suffered an elbow injury in the NorthPort-NLEX match, were present in practice.
Ginebra’s Greg Slaughter, Scottie Thompson, and Art dela Cruz, who were earlier cut from the 15-man pool, were also present in practice as they now have the chance to take the spot of the KaTropa’s Roger Pogoy, who is out due to an injury.
The basketball competitions of the Games are set from Dec. 4 to 10, with the nationals favored to win their 13th straight gold and 18th overall.
The nationals kick off their gold medal bid against Singapore on Dec. 4 at the Mall of Asia Arena. – Michael Jugado