Christian Standhardinger retires from Gilas

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 20) — Christian Standhardinger announced his retirement from Gilas Pilipinas days after he helped the national team reclaim the gold in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games men’s 5x5 basketball.

The Barangay Ginebra big man bared the news in a social media post on Saturday, saying he knew that the May 16 finals in the SEA Games in Cambodia would be his last match for Gilas.

Standhardinger explained that his body could no longer withstand the strain that comes with concurrently playing for his team in the PBA and for Gilas, which he joined in 2017.

“The finals game marked a highly emotional day for me," he wrote. "Looking down in the Locker room 30 min before tip-off at my swollen knees, I knew that this particular game would be my last appearance for the Gilas national team, proudly wearing the blue jersey."

But the 33-year-old Filipino German player said that while he’s announcing his retirement with a heavy heart, he is also confident that Gilas is in capable hands.

“As I close this chapter of my life, I leave with a sense of fulfillment and pride in contributing to the glory of Philippine basketball. I have complete faith that Gilas will continue to soar to greater heights and bring more pride to our beloved nation,” his post read.

He added that of the three gold medals he has won for the country, he considers the last one special as he secured it while surrounded by “remarkable individuals.”

“My journey in the Philippines began with a SEA Games gold medal, and it seems fitting that it concludes with one as well,” he said.

Standhardinger also expressed his gratitude to supporters, saying their belief in the team pushed Gilas to victory.