MANILA, Philippines – Christian Standhardinger raised eyebrows when he unveiled a new free throw shooting stroke during a tune-up game between the Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Club and Centro Escolar University last Monday.
The No. 1 selection in the recent PBA Rookie Draft shot all his free throws one-handed, a departure from his usual routine in previous competitions.
He did the same on Thursday, when Hong Kong faced off against the NLEX Road Warriors in another tune-up game. He missed a pair of freebies during the game itself, but worked on them again after the game – a 98-85 win for his team – and converted several attempts.
"You know, I'm trying a lot of things out," Standhardinger said of his free throw shooting. "I'm a basketball player, and if you watch me play, I'm not very conventional – I'm just efficient."
"That's the same thing with the free throw," he added.
Standhardinger admitted that his old shooting stroke had not worked out for him so well, and so, he decided to make some changes.
"I'm figuring something unconventional out," he said. "I'm hoping that works better for me."
He acknowledged that it is still a work in progress, as shown by his bricks during the game. Yet he is confident that by the time the ABL season rolls around, he will have mastered the shot.
"I'm sure that I'm going to be ready," said Standhardinger. "Worst case scenario, when the PBA starts. But I think I will be ready with the free throws when the ABL starts. You will see."
One thing is for sure, though: whether or not the free throws work out, Standhardinger is not afraid to take a different route if he believes it will lead him to success.
"I'm pretty confident that I'm going the right direction," he guaranteed.
Standhardinger will make his ABL debut for Hong Kong on November 19 against Alab Pilipinas.
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