SMB won’t buy out Standhardinger’s ABL contract

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San Miguel Beer team governor Robert Non said the management is not buying out the contract of its top pick Christian Standhardinger, and the Beermen expect the Filipino-German to be with them beginning the Commissioner’s Cup.

Non said they will allow Standhardinger to finish his six-month contract with the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions in the Asean Basketball League (ABL), which kicks off on November 17.

“We expect him (Standhardinger) to be with us in the second conference,” Non told The Manila Times in an interview. “Let us understand that Christian has a contract and we will honor that. He’ll be available for us maybe in June next year.”

The 28-year old center was selected No. 1 overall in the last Philippine Basketball Association Rookie Draft by San Miguel. The deal came via Kia in a controversial agreement.

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The Beermen shipped role players Jay-R Reyes, Ronald Tubid, Rashawn McCarthy plus their 2019 first-round pick to acquire the six-foot-seven Standhardinger.

This means that San Miguel has to defend its Philippine Cup crown sans its No. 1 pick and has to rely on core members that won the title last season.

Team manager Gee Abanilla said since Standhardinger is still under contract with his ABL team, the Beermen just secured a tender offer from the player to keep his rights.

“It is up to the upper management what is the arrangement. We secured his right first by signing him up. As the league’s top overall pick, we made a tender offer, a maximum contract for a rookie,” said Abanilla, referring to the P150,000 monthly salary for a No. 1 pick.

“But for now, I don’t want to divulge yet the terms how long his contract is,” he added. “We have to understand that he has other commitments.”

Besides Standhardinger, San Miguel also picked former University of Santo Tomas guard Louie Vigil (second round), Jerome Ortega (third round) and Joseph Nalos (fourth round).

The three players will be under evaluation when the Beermen resume practice next week.

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