MANILA -- Christian Standhardinger on Saturday announced that he has called it quits from Gilas Pilipinas after fulfilling their goal of reclaiming the Southeast Asian Games basketball gold.
In a lengthy and heartfelt post on his social media accounts, the Barangay Ginebra big man said he is following the footsteps of fellow Gilas stalwart Jayson Castro and "pass the torch" to the younger generation of Filipino players.
"With a heavy heart, I must announce my retirement from the Philippine national team. I am immensely proud to witness that Gilas is in capable hands," said the Fil-German.
Standhardinger said his body can no longer cope with the demands of doing national duty and playing for his mother club in the PBA.
He said he knew it when they played against Cambodia in the SEA Games finals.
"The finals game marked a highly emotional day for me. Looking down in the Locker room 30 min before tip-off at my swollen knees, I knew that this particular game would be my last appearance for the Gilas national team, proudly wearing the blue jersey," he said.
"I knew that my body could not withstand the double duty, and unfortunately, nothing showed that more clearly than this tournament, where the demands were intensified."
"Nevertheless, I was determined to give my absolute best and contribute to [Coach Chot Reyes'] mission of reclaiming the gold."
Standhardinger said he is proud to have made his contribution to the national team.
He is confident that the younger generation of Gilas will be able to step up to the challenge especially in the coming FIBA World Cup 2023. He made special mention of Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser and Michael Phillips as the up-and-coming big men for the national team.
"The future of Philippine basketball is in good hands, and this brings me both relief and joy," said Standhardinger.
"As I close this chapter of my life, I leave with a sense of fulfillment and pride in contributing to the glory of Philippine basketball. I have complete faith that Gilas will continue to soar to greater heights and bring more pride to our beloved nation," he said.
"My journey in the Philippines began with a SEA Games gold medal, and it seems fitting that it concludes with one as well... Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Maraming salamat, Pilipinas!"
The 33-year-old Standhardinger helped the Philippines win gold in the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur and the 2019 SEA Games in Manila. He was called up to the national team's bid for redemption in Phnom Penh in the recently concluded 32nd SEA Games.
Standhardinger is coming off a strong campaign in the 2023 PBA Governors' Cup where he earned Best Player of the Conference honors and helped Ginebra reach the finals.