MANILA, Philippines – Head coach Yeng Guiao took the blame after the Philippine men's basketball team dropped out of medal contention in the 2018 Asian Games, but Christian Standhardinger begs to differ.
The Filipino-German workhorse believes everyone is responsible for their 82-91 quarterfinals loss to Korea on Monday, August 27, that relegated the country to the consolation round.
"I'm very disappointed that we don't play for the medal round. That's something we couldn't get done and I'm very, very sorry for that. And it's a responsibility of all of us, we all made mistakes," he told reporters in Jakarta, Indonesia.
"You know coach saying that he takes all the responsibility, more credit to him as a coach... he did a tremendous job and that day, it just wouldn't go."
Like duels against the Koreans in the past two decades, the Filipinos were minutes away from securing the win only to crumble down the stretch.
But the Nationals quickly moved forward from the heartbreak and instead vented their ire on Japan with a 33-point shellacking to assure themselves of at least sixth place – achieving the initial goal to improve from the seventh-place finish in 2014.
At the front of the Philippines' offensive exploits against the Japanese was Standhardinger, who pumped in a game-high 27 points to go with 13 rebounds and 3 steals.
For the San Miguel rookie, the win was a consolation for the unwavering support of Filipinos for the team.
"I’m happy that we got a little victory today and I hope that we brought some happiness back home into the Philippines," Standhardinger said.
But work isn't done for the Philippines as it shoots for its best Asiad finish in 16 years against Syria in their battle-for-fifth clash on Friday, August 31. – with reports from Beatrice Go in Jakarta/Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.