Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Christian Standhardinger: breakout newcomer to Gilas

Christian Standhardinger: breakout newcomer to Gilas
by rick olivares

The Southeast Asian Games may only be one game old for Christian Standhardinger but the Fil-German can already be said to be the breakout newcomer to the national team.

From the recent William Jones Cup to the FIBA Asia Cup and now to the SEA Games, Standhardinger is showing why he is going to be a vital cog in the national team machine for years to come.

He has been adjudged the most efficient performer for the country in FIBA Asia with a rating of 15.3 more than four full points than the former two-time best guard in Asia, Jayson Castro.

The 6’7” forward shot 60% from the field in Beirut, 66% from the free throw line while averaging 16.0 points and 5.7 rebounds.

During the William Jones Cup, after import Michael Myers, Standhardinger was the second best leading scorer with 11.8 points per game on 54% field goal shooting. He was also the tournament’s eighth best rebounder with 7.4 boards an outing.

In the 81-74 win over Thailand to kick off the Gilas Cadets’ maiden SEA Games assignment, Christian finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. He could have scored more and displaced teammate Troy Rosario as the team’s leading scorer last Sunday night but he missed a lot of free throws.

The 28-year old Standhardinger from Munich, Germany grew up playing a lot of sports. “I played every sport — tennis, table tennis, beach volleyball, bowling, swimming, but when my grandpa introduced me to basketball and there was no looking back.”

And when you look at his game, he performs with no frills. No fancy moves. He exaggerated display of emotion. “The one thing you have to understand about me is I am focused,” he said with unabashed honesty. “My concern is being able to do what is asked of me and to contribute. It makes me focused and – how do you say this – goal-oriented.” 

As for his simple style of play, Standhardinger will disappoint you if you postulate that German star Dirk Nowitski is an influence. “I have no basketball idols to be honest,” he fesses up. Not even German star Dirk Nowitski. “Nope. I just played on my own and learning from the games I played. Maybe that is why I have a weird or funky style. But when I am playing my thinking is, ‘how to make my game effective?’"

He parries the accolades and praise that come his way taking everything in stride. “It’s cool,” he shrugs. “But I have so much to learn. And I know that. Maybe that keeps my feet on the ground.”

Christian also admits that wearing the national jersey is an immense source of pride. “It was an easy decision,” he admits about suiting up for the Philippines. “I am proud that I can represent the Philippines. My family is honored as well.”

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