Photo by the PBA Media Bureau
And that's gonna be a major headache for their opponents.
If you think you've seen the best San Miguel Beermen squad who just recently claimed their 4th consecutive Philippine Cup championship, then you're dead wrong.
Apparently, Coach Leo Austria is planning to do something that almost what everyone thinks he would do: put June Mar Fajardo, import Troy Gillenwater AND, rookie Christian Standhardinger who is yet to join the Beermen this season due to his ongoing stint with his Hong Kong team in the ABL who is coincidentally playing against the San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in the semifinals. Just when you think guarding June Mar Fajardo alone is already a headache, try guarding the three of them at the same time and you might just wish it's only Fajardo that you need to take care of.
According to Austria, the trio, which he describes as "Triple Towers"- something similar to the Twin Towers of Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter of the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings- will definitely happen once the Filipino-German rookie Standhardinger joins the team right after his stint in the ABL. Austria also explained that because of his team's flexibility as well as Standhardinger's flexibility, this will allow him to field in all three giants together at certain points of the game but also added that the possibility of him doing so will depend on their opponent for that specific game.
Will it work to the Beermen's favor?
While we have yet to see the Beermen play with Gillenwater and Standhardinger, Leo Austria's plan to field Fajardo alongside Gillenwater and Standhardinger will definitely work to the favor of the Beermen because their opponents will be torn as to who they will prioritize on defense. If San Miguel's opponents decide to double-team one of the three, the other two can work their way around. Mind you, San Miguel has Arwind Santos, Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter and Alex Cabagnot- all legitimate snipers from the three-point line so with Standhardinger and Gillenwater teaming up with Fajardo in the frontline, that alone will make San Miguel almost unguardable.
While San Miguel might become a super team with Christian Standhardinger and Troy Gillenwater playing alongside the 4-time MVP Fajardo, it all boils down to chemistry. What's the point of having talented big men if they cannot play as a solidified team who is running like a well-oiled engine?