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Despite being PBA's top pick, Standhardinger to still play for Eastern in ABL

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Don't expect Chris Standhardinger to suit up for San Miguel anytime soon.

Despite being selected as the first overall pick of the PBA Draft, the six-foot-eight big man told reporters on Sunday that he will still commit with Eastern for the upcoming ABL season.

"All the PBA teams knew that I'm not gonna be available for the next six months," said Standhardinger.

He, however, assured that he will quickly join the Beermen once his stint with the Long Lions concludes.

"I'm gonna play in Hong Kong, and then I'll come [here], and I hope that we can continue winning championships with San Miguel," Standhardinger continued.

Both SMB and Eastern were arguably the teams of the year in the PBA and the ABL respectively.

The Beermen won the PBA season's first two conference titles, while the Long Lions dominated the ABL season en route to the league title.

The ABL season will start on Nov. 17, but Eastern will only begin its stint two nights later on the road against Alab at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

The PBA, on the other hand, will begin its own 2018 season exactly a month later on Dec. 17, so it's likely that Standhardinger will become available come the mid-season Commissioner's Cup.

On what he will bring to the Beermen, he said, "A lot of 'puso' and a lot of fight. I'm gonna fight my heart out every time."

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