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Standhardinger "surprised" with PBA style of play in debut

Chris Standhardinger came off the bench in his PBA debut. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--Chris Standhardinger admitted that the PBA is not just an unchartered territory that he stepped into.

"I was surprised. It's not on the same level [as the ABL]," said Standhardinger, the number one pick of last year's draft, on Wednesday night.

The six-foot-eight forward-center, who starred in the Basketball Bundesliga and the ABL, only had four points, five rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 20 minutes of play in his debut in the PBA, a far cry from what people expected of the top draft pick.

Worse, San Miguel ended up at the wrong side of a 93-85 win by Meralco at the Mall of Asia Arena.

"I just need to adjust to the way they play here," he continued.

He then bared some tweaks he will do to his game, saying, "In my Hong Kong [Eastern] team, I've been sprinting up and down, but here, it's more like a halfcourt game, so I will need to adjust to that. I need to adjust to the ways the games are called. And honestly, I need to really find my role in this team."

In another uncharacteristic manner, Standhardinger came off the bench, but for him, he is fine with it.

"I'm OK with whatever role I am needed," he further said. "In this team, we have so many scorers. My job is to defend, give energy, and facilitate more.... I will keep doing that as long as Coach [Leo Austria] tells me to do for this squad."

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