Confusion wafted through the air earlier this October when Christian Standhardinger declared for the 2017 PBA Draft, given that he had just signed with ASEAN Basketball League team Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Club last August.
That perplexity stemmed from whether the talented Filipino-German big man would beg off from his commitment with the defending ABL champions, or play through the season and have his draft rights acquired by a PBA team.
But on Tuesday, during the regional pro league’s presser held at the Shangri-La at the Fort in Taguig, the club team, through representative Mike Heung, cleared the air over what will happen between Standhardinger and the squad.
“I think he has a contract with our team, and so the contract is signed,” assured the team official.
“It’s to complete the ABL season — this season. A contract is a contract, and he will play for us.”
Heung, however, disclosed that Standhardinger has yet to discuss the matter with them. But he is sure that the 28-year-old Munich-born cager will talk to them as soon as possible, to sort things out.
“He never mentioned about it. I mean, teams, with players, with our relationship, we have to communicate. We’re gonna talk. If he has any hesitation, I think he will talk to us. But so far, we are very good. I don’t think he will go to the PBA.
“He will close our contract and play for the PBA? No. It’s not gonna happen. He already has a contract with us,” said Heung.
Still, Heung and the rest of the team are eager for Standhardinger’s arrival in Hong Kong. For them, the six-foot-seven’s inclusion is a huge boost for their bid of reclaiming the throne, despite having to go through eight teams in the season.
“As a Heritage import in the ABL, he’s a very good player,” Heung lauded, “He can help our team a lot, especially defensively. And he’s a very good guy. During our preseason training, day by day, he gets fit to our team system.
“I think he can help a lot.”