By Jonas Terrado
NorthPort’s Christian Standhardinger won his first major award after claiming the Gatorade-PBA Governors’ Cup Best Player of the Conference before Game 4 of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Standhardinger garnered 1011 points to beat out his former San Miguel Beer teammate June Mar Fajardo and TNT KaTropa’s Jayson Castro for the distinction as the best player of the season-ending conference.
It also made Standhardinger as the first player ever to bag the BPC after being traded during the conference. Standhardinger joined the Batang Pier from the San Miguel Beermen in exchange for Mo Tautuaa last Oct. 14.
“It was completely unexpected and I’m really surprised that I got that. But I’m honored and I appreciate it,” Standhardinger said.
The Fil-German, the ninth player from a non-finalist to bag the award, was a major reason why NorthPort was able to reach the semifinals despite barely making the quarterfinals.
NorthPort finished the elims as the No. 8 team in the playoffs after winning its last two games before pulling off a stunning upset of top-ranked and twice-to-beat NLEX in the quarters.
He averaged 17.6 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.2 steals in 15 games this conference.
Standhardinger received 396 statistical points, 433 media votes, 32 player votes and 150 votes from the PBA Commissioner’s Office.
Fajardo had 438 statistical points, four media votes, 140 player votes and 75 votes from the PBA Commissioner’s Office while Castro registered 357 statistical points, 216 media votes, 42 player votes and zero votes from the Commissioner’s Office.
Rounding out the derby are Columbian’s CJ Perez with 506 points and NLEX’s Kiefer Ravena 481 points.