<
>

Christian Standhardinger ignores trade chatter

play
Beermen toast PBA Commissioner's Cup title win (2:34)

Leo Austria and the San Miguel Beermen celebrate another PBA Commissioner's Cup title. (2:34)

San Miguel Beermen coach Leo Austria said Tuesday he has not heard from team management about trading Christian Standhardinger.

"It happened before the second conference. But as of now, I don't have any information coming from the management about the trade," Austria said.

Standhardinger's name has been linked to the Magnolia Hotshots.

Austria said Standhardinger played well in a limited role in the PBA Commissioner's Cup finals.

"[I]f you noticed the way he played in the championship, it seems to him that he's happy with his role. That's why I keep thanking him for a job well done according to roles," said Austria.

Standhardinger said he is focused on what he can control.

"Whatever the management does, as a player I stay away from those questions. I just play my game, whatever happens, happens," he said. "I don't really think about those things. I just go as hard as possible and try to contribute as much as possible."

Standhardinger's role for the Governors' Cup will likely expand again as the height restrictions for imports limits San Miguel's options.

"This Governors' Cup, we don't have an import [taller] than 6-5. That means the playing time which every player wants in their career will be improved," said Austria.

Import Dez Wells, however, might just be the type of reinforcement that San Miguel needs.

Austria said Wells will be a good, complementary piece for the Beermen, who aren't looking for a ball-dominant presence to add to an already star-studded lineup.

"Based on the recommendations and the clips that we have been receiving and watching, he could help. Boss Al said that we don't need an import who could dominate the game. We need an import that can inspire his teammates," said Austria.

"That's what happened last conference. We had a good import, but he's not a dominant import. But he could score, he could he rebound, he could assist and he could be good [chemistry-wise] for the team," he said.

The 6-foot-5 Wells went undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft and played in the NBA D-League and in Greek and Italian leagues.

"He has an outside shot, he can penetrate and he can pass," Austria said. "He'a a bit small as a small forward internationally but Wells can play one through three easily with us."

San Miguel will need more than just a good import to win the Governors' Cup.

"What happened to us last 2017 after two championships, there was a tendency to relax. They thought after All-Filipino and the second conference, they can dominate the game," Austria said. "When the playoffs came, we were up against Ginebra and we weren't at our peak so we lost and failed to achieve the Grand Slam that we aspired for. But this time, we have a chance."

SMB will get an early look at where they stand while playing in the Terrific 12 from September 19 to 22 in Macau. Wells will join Lester Prosper, whom the team brought in to man the paint with Standhardinger as they prepare without June Mar Fajardo.

The Beermen will take a two-week break before plunging back into practices on September 2. They play the Shenzhen Aviatiors in their first Terrific 12 assignment on September 17 before wrapping up the preliminaries two days later against defending champions Ryukyu Golden Kings on September 19.

"I'm really concerned about the fatigue factor. But they're professional. If they think it's mind over matter, they can get past it. In the last four or five years, this has always been our situation. I hope this time we've learned from our lesson," said Austria.