By Jonas Terrado
NorthPort’s Christian Standhardinger is not bothered with trade rumors linking him to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, saying that he would play the role of a “good soldier” regardless if the team wishes to have him or not.
Standhardinger’s name surfaced in a possible trade to the league’s crowd favorites in exchange for Greg Slaughter, who the previous weekend stunned everyone by announcing his decision to take a break from basketball.
It was speculated that the potential deal was cited as one of the reasons as to why the 7-foot center opted to go on leave, though Slaughter denied that he was made aware of any trade possibilities.
For Standhardinger, the rumor mill is far from his concern.
“My life is very simple,” Standhardinger said after Friday’s tune-up match against Rain or Shine at the Green Meadows Gym. “I’ll agree with the team on a salary, and then I go out and play for whatever team they want to play for. That’s what I do.
“So, I don’t have to worry about things. Whatever the management of NorthPort tell me I should play, or if they trade me or not trade me, I just do my thing,” he added. “And I’m gonna be a good soldier and play my best because that’s what they pay me for.”
Standhardinger’s stock has risen after emerging as Best Player of the Conference in last season’s PBA Governors’ Cup.
The Fil-German showcased his full form after joining the Batang Pier from the San Miguel Beermen in a trade last October for Mo Tautuaa.
Standhardinger is currently preparing for the 45th season which opens on March 8, though he is currently trying to strengthen a knee problem that has bothered him since his PBA entry two years ago.
It was the same reason why Standhardinger pulled out of the Gilas Pilipinas’ pool for the first window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers.
Despite limited minutes, Standhardinger was able to score 18 points but NorthPort suffered a 98-87 loss to Rain or Shine in the said tune-up.
“It’s still a little bit rusty, that’s why I have to go 60 percent. But it was good that I got the jog in a little tune-up so I think we are on the right track,” he said.