From chief backup to the PBA Governors' Cup's Gatorade Best Player of the Conference.
NorthPort's Christian Standhardinger, who lurked under the shadows of five-time MVP June Mar Fajardo during his time with fully-stacked San Miguel Beer, came into his own as the Batang Pier's top gun and his breakout performance was aptly rewarded with his first BPC accolade.
Standhardinger beat no less than Fajardo for the top plum in the season-ending tournament.
The Fil-German amassed 1,011 total points in the final tally, getting 396 statistical points, 433 points from media votes, 32 points from player votes, and 150 points from votes from the PBA, to win it over Fajardo (657) as well as TNT's Jayson Castro (615), Columbian Dyip's rookie CJ Perez (506) and NLEX's Kiefer Ravena (481).
Meralco's Allen Durham won his third Best Import of the Conference plum, climbing to No. 2 all time behind the late Bobby Parks, Sr., who owned the standard at seven.
Durham tallied 1,170 total to beat Barangay Ginebra's Justin Brownlee (937) and TNT's KJ McDaniels (635).
"I have to really appreciate my teammates, they put me in a great position. It was so much fun last conference to play with them, to fight with them," he said.
"I feel like it should be a team award and I'm really thankful to my coach and my teammates that it worked out well."
The 6-foot-8 bruiser became the first player to win the BPC in the same conference where he switched teams.
Standhardinger suited up for SMB in the first two conferences, sharing twin championships with the Beermen, and was later shipped to NorthPort in the middle of the season-ending Governors' Cup.
With a lot of playing time and touches at NorthPort, Standhardinger averaged 22.7 points and 12.8 rebounds for the Batang Pier, helping them reach the semifinals after toppling No. 1 and twice-to-beat NLEX in the quarterfinals.
"When I got here, San Miguel got me and as I said back then, there's so many good scorers, there's really nothing much I can do. I have to try to fit in and adjust and become that player who can help that team win the most," he said.
"And I did that. I played defense, I tried to rebound, tried to play my role at San Miguel. I think I did that; I'm a little part of why we won those two championships while I'm there," he added.
Standhardinger quickly embraced his bigger role at a young NorthPort team.
"I have to change myself as a player because NorthPort, we needed a little bit more scoring so I did that. And I'm happy that it worked out the way it did. Obviously I'm not happy we didn't make the finals but I think all of us, we know what we need to improve on, we know we should come as a team better and be the team that we really can be," he said. (OL)