MANILA, Philippines—Christian Standhardinger had no intentions of resting.
The Fil-German big man played 61 minutes in NorthPort's thrilling 126-123 triple-overtime win over NLEX on Wednesday night, a victory that sent the Batang Pier to the semifinals of the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup.
Standhardinger put up 33 points, 23 rebounds, and 7 assists as NorthPort became only the fourth No. 8 seed in the history of the PBA to topple a top-seeded squad. The 61 minutes that he played is also a record for a local PBA player.
Yet Standhardinger was back to work Thursday morning. He was one of the first players to show up at The Upper Deck in Pasig City for Gilas Pilipinas' practice ahead of the Southeast Asian Games, and seeing him there had coach Tim Cone shaking his head.
"He's amazing. He was the first one here, by the way, and he was doing drills with coach Kirk (Collier) before anybody came in," Cone told reporters after the team wrapped up practice.
"He was working way before we even got here. Before I was here, he already had the band around him and he was doing cone work," he added. "I (was) like, 'Look, are you kidding me?'"
During their training session, Cone offered to give Standhardinger some breaks, but the NorthPort player wasn't having it as he went hard during their five-on-five drills. Perhaps the only sign that Standhardinger was exhausted was his poor shooting from behind the arc when the team did a shooting contest to close out practice.
Even though Standhardinger bricked his 3-pointers, Cone had nothing but praise for the former No. 1 pick.
"We said in the room, in the lounge before the game, he can be a model for all of us in terms of work ethic," said Cone. "I just told him not to embarrass everybody. His work ethic is so good, he embarrasses me."
"Chris has gotta slow down and not make us look bad. That's a joke. We're just kidding," the coach added.
For Standhardinger, there was no way that he would miss the national team's practice, even after a grueling playoff game the night before.
"Well, of course I'm tired. But coach mentioned that we only have a limited amount of time to really prepare for the SEA Games," he said. "And you guys know me, all I'm scared of is regret."
"We only have like, I don't know, six practices, seven practices left? So I'm just trying to take advantage with the team here, the national team on each one of them," he added.
"We only have one shot and we only have a limited amount of practices, so of course I'm tired, but there need to be a sacrifice and I'm willing to take it."
When told that Cone had praised his work ethic, Standhardinger said it will only serve as further motivation for him.
"It means a lot to me. He's the most winningest coach in PBA history, so it means a lot," he said.
"I appreciate that and I just keep trying to work hard and try to keep that standard of hard work and hustle," he added.
Standhardinger is trying to win a second gold medal in the SEA Games, having helped the 2017 team extend the Philippines' dominance in Kuala Lumpur.
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