MANILA, Philippines -- NorthPort big man Christian Standhardinger was in no mood to discuss his Best Player of the Conference (BPC) candidacy after the Batang Pier absorbed a loss in their first game of the PBA Philippine Cup.
Against the Blackwater Elite, NorthPort squandered a double-digit lead and lost, 96-89, on Monday night at the Angeles University Foundation Gym. Standhardinger had 23 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists in the loss.
The next day, he told reporters that the possibility of winning another BPC trophy "really doesn't matter" to him at the moment.
The Fil-German won the BPC award in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup, his first conference with NorthPort after getting traded from San Miguel.
"If I could have a choice to not be asked this question, I would actually take it. It really doesn't matter you know," said Standhardinger.
"Obviously, it was an honor that I made the BPC last year but it really really does not matter, especially in our situation right now," he explained.
Standhardinger, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft, was tipped as an early BPC favorite with the absence of San Miguel star June Mar Fajardo, who won the honor in the past six editions of the All-Filipino Cup.
However, Standhardinger's primary concern is how to get NorthPort's campaign off the ground, after a disappointing performance in their first game. He believes that they could have done "much, much better," especially against an unfancied Blackwater team.
The Batang Pier were actually in control after the first half, 47-38, but gave up 41 points in the third quarter to the Elite and could not complete a comeback in the final frame.
"We just have to focus on how we play basketball as a team, what we can improve on, watch film with coach and see what adjustments he makes and how we can get into the flow better," said Standhardinger.
"For a lot of us, it was hard to get into the flow, into the rhythm of the game. Obviously, that has several reasons, it's the bubble, it's rusty, we didn't play for six months," he added. "We just have to figure out that as a team and listen to Coach Pido on how we can get this."
As for the BPC trophy?
"Whoever gets it, gets it," said Standhardinger.