By WAYLON GALVEZ
San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria believes that chemistry will not be an issue once Christian Standhardinger joins the team for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup set to start on April 22.
The entry of Standhardinger is expected to affect the composition of the starting unit as well as the playing time of key players, but Austria brushed aside the observation.
“I think any combination will work for us,” Austria said. “We can go big, we can go small… it depends. I believe we’ll have the same chemistry, hindi mawawala yun because players support each other.”
SMB is fresh from winning a fourth straight Philippine Cup title, and sixth championship under Austria.
The team captured the championship with a starting unit of June Mar Fajardo, Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross and Alex Cabagnot.
The likes of Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Gabby Espinas, Brian Heruela, Von Pessumal, Yancy de Ocampo and Chico Lanete come off the bench.
The addition of Standhardinger and import Troy Gillenwater brings new options for the Beermen.
That means the Filipino-German can play alongside the 6-foot-10 Fajardo and form a ‘Twin Tower’ or serve as a backup to the reigning four-time league MVP.
“Sa tingin ko nas malalim ngayon ang rotation ko with Standhardinger and Gillenwater. Sa all-Filipino 7-8 lang normally kami e, pero ngayon baka pwede kami ng 10-11 players and rotation,” said Austria.
Santos, a former MVP, said he’s used to coming off the bench during import flavored conferences.
“Every conference na may import ganun nagiging role ko sa team, then ngayon nga may Christian Standhardinger kami,” said Santos.
“Basta ako, ang sa akin kung ano ang pagagawa ng coaches na ikaka-ganda para sa team. Siyempre gusto ko yung nakakapag-contribute din ako, pero ang importante sa lahat is yung manalo kami,” Santos added.