Christian Standhardinger may not have the eye-popping numbers but his defense and impact on the floor – something that cannot be seen on the stat sheet – definitely made him stand out in the grueling finals series.
And those proved to be enough for him to be adjudged as the PBA Press Corps Honda Finals MVP.
The 6-foot-9 center averaged 10.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.1 steals to become the best player in the seven-game affair which came to an end on Sunday, Jan. 15, after Barangay Ginebra pulled off a convincing 114-99 victory.
As the Kings had Justin Brownlee, Jamie Malonzo, LA Tenorio and Scottie Thompson to anchor them on the offensive end, Standhardinger willingly took a step back and did the dirty work, trying to put the clamps of Bay Area’s prolific import in Andrew Nicholson.
And even when Nicholson went down with an injury, Standhardinger still made his presence felt and provided the solid last line of defense for the Kings against Dragons’ big men Liu Chuanxing and Zhu Songwei and deadly slashers in Hayden Blankley, Kobey Lam and Myles Powell.
Sitting behind his celebrating teammates, totally gassed out and cramping when his name was called for the award, Standhardinger admitted that he didn’t actually expect winning his first Finals MVP plum.
“I did not expect it. I don't know if you guys saw me. I'm just sitting there on the chair and started cramping up in the fourth quarter, just enjoy the ride and then I heard my name and wow,” said Standhardinger.
He also credited his teammates for the award saying they are all part of it.
“Those are my teammates. The way they are passing the ball. I'm more trying to focus on defense in this finals series. That's why I'm very very surprised to get the reward and I appreciate everybody that voted for me and I'm just happy that we won the championship. It's an honor,” he said.