Barangay Ginebra San Miguel is giving Christian Standhardinger a two-week break following grueling campaigns in the Philippine Basketball Association and 32nd Southeast Asian Games.
Ginebra assistant coach Richard del Rosario told Daily Tribune that Standhardinger will sit out their first few games in the PBA On Tour to recover and rest his banged-up body.
Del Rosario said they took the cue from his social media post, where he said that he will be retiring from the international arena as his body can no longer handle the mental and physical pressure of playing for both the Kings and Gilas Pilipinas.
“Although Christian is in the lineup for the PBA On Tour, we’re still giving him a break for a couple of weeks because he just got back from the SEA Games. He never really had a break after the conference,” Del Rosario said.
“He won’t be playing in the first two games since based on his statement when he retired from Gilas, his knees were swollen because of his tight schedule and tough playing conditions.”
“We don’t want to aggravate his injuries so we’ll give him time to heal as well.”
The 33-year-old Standhardinger had been very busy the past couple of months.
After leading the Kings to the Commissioner’s Cup title against guest team Bay Area in January, Standhardinger played non-stop in the season-ending Governors’ Cup.
Ginebra again made it all the way to the finals but lost to TNT Tropang Giga in six games.
Instead of resting, the Filipino-German banger answered the call to represent the country in its quest for redemption in the SEA Games.
In the gold medal match against Cambodia, a team sprinkled with five naturalized players, Standhardinger logged 22 minutes to lead the country to an 80-69 win.
Del Rosario said aside from Standhardinger, also out of the PBA preseason games are head coach Tim Cone and star players Scottie Thompson, Jamie Malonzo and Japeth Aguilar, who are all set to focus on Gilas Pilipinas’ campaign in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.
Playmaker LA Tenorio will also be out as he is still undergoing treatment for his colon cancer.
Del Rosario said the absence of these big guns will be a perfect opportunity for them to develop their young players, especially those from 3×3 and free agent prospects.
“For us, the goal is player development. Those who will be left in our lineup are guys that are coming off the bench during the season. Our goal for this tournament is for the growth of the team,” Del Rosario, whose wards will open their campaign against San Miguel Beer on 4 June at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City, said.
“We only picked up from our lineup from 3×3. They are six guys there. We didn’t pick any undrafted players.”
“All of them are playing for Ginebra already whether it’s in 3×3 or on five-on-five. For us, since they’re already playing for Ginebra, might as well give them a chance.”