MANILA, Philippines – Christian Standhardinger's career-best effort went for naught on Sunday night as the NorthPort Batang Pier absorbed a tough defeat at the hands of the Alaska Aces in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup.
Standhardinger, playing in just his second game for NorthPort, unloaded 37 points on 15-of-21 shooting along with 16 rebounds and 5 assists.
Only one other NorthPort player, import Michael Qualls, reached double digits with 35 points and 15 rebounds. Alaska held off the Batang Pier's repeated rallies for a 106-99 triumph, dropping NorthPort to 3-5 in the conference.
Asked about his effort after the game, Standhardinger was quick to point at the final score as the most pressing issue.
"It's just the loss that is in my mind right now," he said.
"I'm looking at the stat sheets," he added. "We gotta do a better job moving the ball. We gotta do a better job of getting the other guys shots."
Qualls converted only 11 of his 32 shots from the field and the only other NorthPort player to take more than 10 shots was Sean Anthony, who went 3-of-11.
For Standhardinger, it was clear they need to spread the wealth around and establish everyone as an option on offense.
"I'm surrounded by a lot of great basketball players, by a lot of great shooters," he pointed out. "So, it's very, very important for us as a team that everybody gets enough shots up and makes them or just gets them up to be threat."
"And I think that's what we need to work on," he added. "I'm gonna watch film and then see how I can get more guys going."
Standhardinger believes he performed better in this game than in his debut for NorthPort, when he had 18 points and 7 rebounds in a 127-119 upset of his former team, San Miguel Beer. Still, he sees plenty of room for improvement, especially after he missed 7 of his 14 attempts from the line.
"It's a process," said Standhardinger, who admits that he is still rusty after getting limited playing time with the Beermen. With NorthPort, the Fil-German is averaging over 45 minutes per game.
"There's a thing like game shape, and it's getting better and better, and I'm getting adjusted more and more," he added. "But there are still some instances where I see that I'm a little rusty, and I'm gonna keep working on it."
Standhardinger has at least three more games to play for NorthPort this conference, but he is hopeful that they can make it to the quarterfinals at least. At 3-5, the Batang Pier are clinging to the 8th and final playoff spot.
"I believe in us and I think our chances are there, you know," said the big man. "If they're good or bad, it doesn’t really matter. We need to go out there… I think we have to lock down on defense, you know. We have to do a better job there, starting with me."
"And when we do that, then I think we can make the playoffs and that’s one of the goals," he added. "But we can’t forget we have a very young team. I think I’m one of the oldest guys. You’re just learning the process and everybody is just learning and we’re gonna get better and better with time."
NorthPort returns to action on Sunday against Meralco.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.