Fil-German Christian Standhardinger is one of the many hopefuls who have applied for the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft.
Standhardinger is projected to be a top three pick after becoming a household name because of his outstanding stints with Gilas Pilipinas in three international tournaments — Jones Cup, FIBA Asia Cup and SEA Games.
Many Filipino basketball fans were thrilled to find out Standhardinger decided to join the draft. But for him, it was a no-brainer.
“It was not a tough decision. It’s a goal of mine to play in the PBA so it wasn’t a tough decision. I’m excited for what the future brings,” Standhardinger said in a Skype interview with Sports Desk host Mico Halili on Tuesday evening.
Standhardinger already had an idea about the PBA before he suited up for Gilas, but mentioned it gave him more reason to join the draft when he got more acquainted with his teammates on the national team.
“(The PBA) was obviously a league I was striving to play in one day. Then I played with Gilas and I met my teammates, and you guys all know I love my teammates. Those are great guys and they told me about the PBA and that it’s a great league. That was even more incentive to put my name in the draft,” he explained.
Ever since news came out he applied for the PBA draft, the Fil-German has been receiving a ton of heartfelt messages from his fans.
“It’s crazy how many messages I get saying ‘Please put your name in’ and ‘I’m excited you put your name in.’ My Instagram account is going crazy, my Facebook account is going crazy. I really appreciate all those messages,” he said. “I’m looking forward to connect even more with the fans. The fans in the Philippines are just great.”
Asked what he likes about the PBA, Standhardinger said he digs the up-and-down playing style and the amount of energy players have on the court.
“I like their style of play, it’s very fast-paced. It’s very emotional and very passionate, and I like that. Those are characteristics I try to bring out in myself when I play basketball and I also like seeing on the court,” he said. “That’s what excites me about the PBA.”
And though the next PBA season is still a few months away, Standhardinger said he is ready to leave Germany and start a life here in Manila.
“I know the great things about the Philippines and Manila and all. I’m ready to move forward and I hope to play in the PBA soon, and be part of this country and live in it.”