Abueva welcomes Gilas rookie Standhardinger with ‘tough love’

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When there’s a new Gilas guy in town, expect Alaska forward and national team veteran Calvin Abueva to be at the forefront of the welcoming party.

That’s what exactly Abueva did when he gave national team newbie Christian Standhardinger some tough love during the course of Alaska-Gilas tune-up game at Gatorade Hoops Gym in Mandaluyong on Saturday.

Despite his 6-inch height disadvantage, Abueva was fearless in getting to the Fil-German’s skin as he continuously delivered “The Beast specialty” when it comes to being physical.

Things finally erupted when a visibly frustrated Standhardinger finally reached his boiling point after Abueva shoved his arm multiple times late in the fourth quarter with their word war needed to be pacified by the game officials and their respective teammates.

For Abueva, it’s just a welcoming gesture.

“He’s good. Tigas, siyempre papakilala lang as Abueva,” said Abueva with a big smile.

And Standhardinger should be thankful, with the Aces star stressed he’s also introducing him to the Filipino style of play.

“Sa akin, inuunahan ko na siya para makapaghanda na siya sa kung ano pang tune-up or ma-draft siya dito sa country natin,” he added.

In the end, Abueva gave Standhardinger a passing mark in their first encounter but noted he should brush up his trash-talking game.

“Pero may konting pikon lang siya. Di pa rin naman nawawala yung game niya,” he said.

After all, Abueva looks forward to teaming up with Standhardinger in future international tournaments.

“Tinest lang, walang personalan, kasi magiging teammate naman siguro kami after nito,” he said.

Although aware of Abueva being a Gilas veteran, Standhardinger, on his part, pointed out he already knows how to toughen up.

“I like his intensity and I will shoot back with my intensity, and in the end, we won, so that’s good,” said Standhardinger, who also earned the praise of head coach Chot Reyes for his toughness.

Asked what they talked about in their squabble, Standhardinger said they were just apparently checking each other’s day.

“He asked my how my day is going and I asked him how his day is going,” shared Standhardinger in a separate interview. “Then he asked me how’s my family, and I said my mother is fine. He told me his grandma is feeling great, so that was what we talked about.”

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