Short of a stellar debut. Maybe way short.
After a six-month wait, the San Miguel Beermen finally unveiled their prized rookie Christian Standhardinger – the first overall pick of the 2017 PBA Draft. In his first official PBA game, Standhardinger donned the San Miguel jersey for the first time in the Beermen’s Commissioner’s Cup debut against the Meralco Bolts, Wednesday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
However, Standhardinger and San Miguel Beermen received a rude welcome from the Bolts, in the form of a 93-85 shellacking.
The Fil-German newcomer entered MOA’s hardwood floor at the 3:40 mark of the first period, to the delight of the San Miguel faithful. Almost a minute after his entry into the game, Standhardinger made his presence felt on defense, telegraphing a pass by Bolts point guard Baser Amer to import Arinze Onuaku for his first career steal in the PBA.
— PBA (@pbaconnect) May 9, 2018
Standhardinger would then convert his first field goal attempt – a jump shot from the left baseline – to tally his first two points. Sadly, things would go downhill right after for the debuting rookie.
— PBA (@pbaconnect) May 9, 2018
After getting whistled for his third foul with still 9:23 left in the second period, Beermen head coach Leo Austria had no choice but to recall Standhardinger back to the bench – where he would stay frozen for the rest of half.
It was not until the 5:02 mark of the third period that Standhardinger would return for action to the floor. The former ABL stalwart for the Hongkong Eastern Long Lions would be called for his fourth foul with 1:42 remaining in the third quarter, and would miss his next three shots.
In the tough loss against Meralco, Standhardinger registered debut numbers of four points, five rebounds and two assists in almost 20 minutes of court time. The former Gilas Pilpinas slotman was saddled by foul trouble throughout the game, which disrupted the rotation of Coach Leo Austria.
At the height of Standhardinger’s underwhelming performance, FOX Sports Philippines listed the good, the bad and the outstanding debuts of PBA newcomers since 2008. Excluded from the list are the rookies from the 2016 Rookie Batch, which mostly featured Gilas Cadets, who were selected on a special drat:
Japeth Aguilar — (Burger King Whopper), October 11, 2009
In his maiden PBA game for the Whopper, Aguilar would register 10 points, nine rebounds and a shot block.
It would turn out to be Aguilar’s first and last game for Burger King, as the former Ateneo De Manila and Western Kentucky standout would be traded to Barako Bull and then to the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters. Aguilar requested for the release from the Whopper for him to be able to suit up for the SMART-Gilas Pilipinas.
June Mar Fajardo — (Petron Blaze Boosters), October 3, 2012
On August 2012, the Petron Blaze Boosters, fresh off a successful campaign in the 2012 Governors’ Cup, would tab Fajardo as the first overall pick of the PBA Rookie Draft. A product of the University of Cebu, Fajardo had his baptism of fire against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
Fajardo’s PBA debut with Petron would result to a lopsided 102-86 defeat to Rain or Shine. The 6-foot-10 slotman posted nine points, 12 rebounds and two blocks.
JV Casio (Powerade Tigers), October 5, 2011
Coming off a leg injury, Casio would debut in Powerade’s fourth game of the 2011-2012 season, in an out-of-town joust against Barangay Ginebra. A two-way guard for the De La Salle Green Archers, Casio was one of the pioneering members of the Gilas Pilipinas basketball program initially handled by Rajko Toroman.
In a game held at the Victorias City Sports and Amusement Center in Negros Occidental, Casio scored three points in just 11 minutes of action, but his team managed to win, 73-72, against the Gin Kings.
Noy Baclao (Air 21 Express), October 13, 2010
Just like Casio, Baclao skipped his team’s first game of the season due to an injury. A hyper-extended knee kept Baclao on the sidelines for the Express season-opener on October 8, 2010 against the San Miguel Beermen.
The 2008 UAAP Finals MVP would finally debut five days later against the Rain or Shine Elastopainters, who would escape with an 89-86 win. Baclao posted just four points in 25 minutes of action, but had four rebounds and three blocked shots.
(Gabe Norwood) Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, October 5, 2008
The George Mason University standout came away with a victory on his PBA debut. The Elasto Painters carved out a 120-102 victory over the Air 21 Express in Norwood’s first PBA game, but the Fil-SAm guard just scored six points on a 2-of- 8 (25%) shooting from the field. He was clearly outshone by fellow rookie, Sol Mercado, who sizzled with 29 points.
Moala Tautuaa (Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters), October 23, 2015
Rookie jitters got the better of Tautuaa and another TNT rookie, Troy Rosario, in their respective debut games. In a one-sided 114-98 defeat to the Alaska Aces, the Fil-Tongan rookie struggled with just two points, making one out of five field goal attempts, in 19 minutes of action.
Greg Slaughter (Barangay Ginebra Kings), November 27, 2013
Slaughter’s PBA debut came at a perfect time — playing in the Manila Clasico. The seven-foot rookie out of Ateneo De Manila made a rousing debut against the San Mig Coffee Mixers, scoring 10 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.
Slaughter’s production contributed heavily to Ginebra’s lopsided victory over San Mig Coffee, 86-69.
Stanley Pringle (GlobalPort Batang Pier), October 21, 2014
A former ABL standout while playing for the Indonesia Warriors, Pringle impressed right in his first PBA game for the Mikee Romero-owned franchise.
In a 101-96 loss to the NLEX Road Warriors, Pringle showed a glimpse of what he can bring to the table for GlobalPort, which was then bannered by Terrence Romeo. Pringle tallied 14 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals in an all-around performance.