Will the first time be the charm for Christian Standhardinger?
From June 8 to 12, all roads lead to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan for the 2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup. A total of 40 teams from 37 countries will vie for the Men’s and Women’s world championships, to be hosted for the first time by the Philippines.
Set to don the national colors once again, this time in the halfcourt variation of basketball, is Christian Standhardinger. The Fil-German slotman has represented the Philippines thrice in international competitions – the last being the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Standhardinger teams up with Roger Pogoy, Stanley Pringle and Troy Rosario for the Philippine Men’s 3X3 Team, to be handled by current Meralco Bolts assistant coach Ronnie Magsanoc.
In an interview with FOX Sports Philippines, Standhardinger relayed their team’s anticipation for the World Cup, as the four of them are all 3X3 first-timers. “We are all excited to play for the country in the 3X3. It’s the first time for the four of us to play in that kind of format”, said the top pick of the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft.
— PBA (@pbaconnect) May 13, 2018
Preparations have started for the quartet, with weekly practices held at the Meralco Gym in Ortigas.
While still in a period of adjustment in his maiden PBA conference, Standhardinger has already identified the similarities of 3X3 with the brand of play in the PBA. “I think if you play in the PBA, it is kind of the same (with 3X3). Obviously, you need a lot more individual skills to be successful in this game. You have to be very physical and strong, and I think you need the same thing in 3X3”, quipped Standhardinger.
Bracketed in Pool C, the Philippines battles Brazil, Mongolia, Canada and Russia in the single-round robin preliminaries. The top two squads per bracket advance to the eight team-knockout stage to eventually crown the fifth 3X3 World Cup champion.
Being a former Gilas Pilipinas team member, Standhardinger is well-aware of the Filipino fans’ support for the national team. He expects nothing less for the country’s staging of the 3X3 World Cup. “I know that the fans cheer with a lot of passion and I love that. I think that they will go crazy again because here in the Philippines, we all go crazy for basketball. We will give our best and hope that we can win as many games as possible for the country”, said Standhardinger.