Fil-German shows worth against Alab

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Christian Standhardinger gave a glimpse of what to expect once he dons the San Miguel Beermen uniform in the PBA after helping defending ASEAN Basketball League champion Hong Kong Eastern survive Tanduay Alab Pilipinas, 92-89, Sunday night before a big crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Standhardinger knocked down two clutch baskets inside the final 30 seconds to finish with 26 points along with 14 rebounds and four assists in nearly 32 minutes, living up to his billing as the top overall pick of San Miguel in the PBA draft held three weeks ago.

The 6-foot-7 Fil-German showcased the skills that impressed many during his Gilas Pilipinas stints in the Jones Cup, FIBA Asia Cup and Southeast Asian Games as Hong Kong provided a winning start to its quest to retain the ABL crown.

Reigning World MVP Marcus Elliott with 25 points, nine assists and eight steals, Thai-American Tyler Lamb scored 23 points and American center Ryan Moss made key baskets in the fourth quarter that put Hong Kong ahead for good after Alab rallied from 15 points down in the third to take a 74-73 lead on a Ray Parks Jr. three-point play.

“What a great victory,” Standhardinger said. “It was so close, I mean (Alab) got everything out of us but we kept going, kept working hard and at the end we got the victory. As good as they are, they could have also went out with the victory, but I’m happy that it was us this time.”

Standhardinger beat the shot clock with an open jumper off an inbound that put Hong Kong up 90-86. Parks answered with a three-point play off a foul on the next play to pull Alab within a point.

But Standhardinger once again frustrated the home team on the ensuing possession when he scored underneath with six seconds remaining. Alab’s Josh Urbiztondo fired a Hail Mary shot that would have forced overtime but the ball bounced off the rim as time expired.

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Written by Jonas Terrado

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