If there's one player in the Gilas Pilipinas troop for the 2018 Asian Games that
While one is in the spotlight and under the watchful eye of Filipinos, another is an unsung and underrated player who pours his heart and soul every time he's on the floor. It's hard to see why he's being overlooked when he stands six feet and eight inches tall. And yes, we're talking about number 34, Christian Standhardinger.
If you watched Gilas' most recent game against Japan, you'll see that despite their differences in play style, attitude, and infamy, the Clarkson-Standhardinger connection worked well for the team. Their pick-and-roll partnership was on full display throughout the game—and it resulted in many open baskets not only for the two of them, but for other players who were left free.
Halfway through the 2nd quarter, after Paul Lee started draining shots from everywhere, Clarkson began dominating and distributing the ball more efficiently than he ever has in the tournament. And for the first time ever since Clarkson played for our Gilas, he wasn’t the top scorer. Instead, it was Standhardinger who finished with the most points. And the two never got their foot off the gas pedal and continued working together to eventually blow the game wide open.
In the end, Gilas Pilipinas beat Japan by a wide margin, 113-80. Standhardinger shined and delivered the most with 27 points in an efficient 11-for-14 shooting, 13 rebounds, and three steals.
Of course, Clarkson still ruled the stat sheet with 22 points, six rebounds, and 9 assists.
Standhardinger said in an interview that he appreciates Clarkson seeing him when he rolls toward the basket.
“Jordan makes it really hard to guard that pick-and-roll,” he said. “We’re clicking and he’s a smart player.”
Standhardinger was even humble enough to praise his teammates for finding him and giving him the ball for an easy lay-up.
We want to see more of this Clarkson-Standhardinger connection come Friday when they go up against Syria to finish strong and aim for a fifth-place finish.