Fil-German player Christian Standhardinger swung by briefly in Manila and basked in glory as the top choice in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft in the main atrium of Robinson's Place in Manila Sunday.
Standhardinger arrived Saturday evening from Hong Kong and didn't stay long after his expected selection as the No. 1 pick in the well-attended draft exercise to be remembered as the first PBA drafting where all hopefuls made the draft class.
But there were little surprises.
San Miguel Beer, as expected, used on Standhardinger the draft selection it acquired in much-talked-about trade deal with Kia.
And there were no surprises on Kiefer Ravena, Raymar Jose, Jason Perkins and Jeron Teng being selected from No. 2 to No. 5 by NLEX, Blackwater, Phoenix Petroleum and Alaska Milk, respectively.
Other aspirants drafted in the first round were Robert Herndon (GlobalPort), Rey Nambatac (Rain or Shine), Sidney Onwubere (Phoenix), Lervin Flores (Star), Mark Tallo (TNT), Jon Jon Gabriel (TNT) and Jett Manuel (Ginebra).
Second round choices were John Grospe (NLEX), Joseph Gabayni (Star), Emil Palma (Blackwater), Julian Sargent (Star), Louie Vigil (SMB), Davon Potts (Alaska), Jomari Sollano (ROS), Gwyne Capacio (Star), Jayson Grimaldo (Phoenix), Monbert Arong (TNT), Wilson Baltazar (Phoenix) and Andreas Cahilig (GlobalPort).
Though considered as the shallowest PBA draft pool in years, the draft exercise went all the way to the fifth round with Jhon Sumido being drafted 44th and last - by Blackwater.
Names called in the third round were Chris De Chavez (Kia), Gabriel Daganon (NLEX), Ebrahim Enguio (Blackwater), Roldan Sara (Phoenix), Zachary Nicholls (GlobalPort), Michael Juico (Rain or Shine), Jebb Bulawan (Meralco), Thomas Torres (Star), Dave Moralde (TNT), Jerome Ortega (SMB) and Elmer Cabahug (Ginebra).
Picked on Round No. 4 were Arvie Bringas (Kia), Felix Appreku (NLEX), Kyle Neypes (Blackwater), John Casino (Phoenix), Gian Abrigo (GlobalPort) and Joseph Nalos (SMB).
But Standhardinger simply stood out with his huge presence.
"I've always wanted to play in the PBA. I'm grateful with the draft selection. Now, I can't wait to start playing in the PBA," said Standhardinger.
"Prior to this, a lot of things were going on and we didn't know what will happen. Now that we're here, I'm happy and can't wait to play with June Mar," Standhardinger added.
Asked what he's bringing to San Miguel, Standhardinger said: "A lot of passion, puso and spirit."