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Standhardinger to play in ABL

MANILA, Philippines - Gilas’ Fil-German center Christian Standhardinger will play for the defending champion Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions in the ABL next season, it was recently announced by his sports agent YouFirst and reported in the German website basketball.de.

Asked for his reaction to the news, SBP executive director Sonny Barrios told The Star yesterday he wasn’t aware of the 6-8 Standhardinger’s move but said under the circumstances, he’s not surprised. “Christian is classified as a naturalized import by FIBA and I think he realizes that down the road, we might consider somebody bigger for that role, like Andray Blatche or a player who’s 6-10 or above,” said Barrios. “I’m sure he’s weighing his options right now because he’s been exposed as a high-quality player with Gilas.”

Christian Standhardinger
PBA director for external communications Willie Marcial said he, too, was surprised. PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa and Marcial flew to Lebanon and joined Gilas for a week until they returned to Manila last Saturday. “I spoke with Christian the day we left Lebanon,” said Marcial. “I asked him about his plans. He told me nothing is sure, that everything will depend on Gilas. Christian is adjusting very well with our team. In the first two games in Lebanon, he had a bad cold and went out there just the same. He gets along with everyone, jokes around with Jio (Jalalon). He’s committed to our team.”

Marcial said even if Standhardinger plays in the ABL, he could still apply for the PBA draft late this year. The ABL season is from November to March so if he joins the ABL, Standhardinger may not be able to play in the PBA until the second conference. Basketball.de said he will play for the Lions in the ABL and the Hong Kong A1 league. The Lions, coached by Spaniard Edu Torres, won the ABL crown last season with imports Marcus Elliott and Josh Boone and two Asian reinforcements Thai-American Tyler Lamb and French-Taiwanese Steven Guinchard. Standhardinger will be classified as an Asian import under the ABL eligibility rules because of his Filipino heritage. The Lions’ homecourt is the 2,000-seat Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai.

YouFirst announced Standhardinger’s move to Hong Kong in a tweet that was posted last Friday. The sports agency is based in Madrid and has offices in several countries, including the US, Italy, Argentina, Mexico and China. It manages over 500 basketball and football players from at least 23 countries. Some 30 NBA players are under contract with YouFirst.

Author: Joaquin Henson
Full Article: http://www.philstar.com/sports/2017/08/15/1729331/standhardinger-play-abl

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