Christian Standhardinger had a quiet PBA debut on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Expected to bolster an already-formidable San Miguel Beermen lineup, the No. 1 pick in the 2017 PBA Draft finished with four points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in a 93-85 loss to Meralco in the 2018 Honda PBA Commissioner's Cup.
But his debut wasn't as subpar as the stats might suggest.
Coach Leo Austria was not disappointed and said Standhardinger delivered what the coaching staff expected.
Standhardinger was supposed to be an energizing force for a team not lacking in firepower with two MVPs in June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos, Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, and Chris Ross.
"The energy was there, we all saw it. He's a big help to the team. This is just his first game, so on his part, he's also trying to adjust," Austria said. "He's trying to figure out what's good for the team, what kind of help he has to provide but definitely we can see his worth."
Standhardinger, for his part, believes he did what the coaches asked him to do.
Standhardinger wasn't asked to pile up points like he was in the ASEAN Basketball League, where he was the go-to guy for the Hong Kong Eastern team.
"You know, I think I'm OK. That's what I've told guys I'm gonna do. I'm not gonna go out here like in the ABL where like I'm the main scorer of the team and try to aggressively get my points," he said. "I shot five shots, I think, and I'm just trying to facilitate, get the guys open, put the guys in a right situation. Unfortunately, that didn't work out today."
Standhardinger and the Beermen are already looking to the next opportunity.
"Of course I'm looking forward to getting a victory and yeah, get us in the right track again," he said.