UST coach Cantonjos says Cansino, not Sotto, should have topped NBTC 24

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jan 17, 2018 01:56 PM
UST coach Cantonjos says Cansino should have topped NBTC 24
For UST head coach Chris Cantonjos, CJ Cansino is the top talent in all of high school

The first-ever NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24 high school player rankings was revealed last Monday.

In it, Ateneo de Manila High School’s Kai Sotto was deemed the top talent among all players taking part in the NCAA, UAAP, CESAFI (Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc.), MMBL (Metro Manila Basketball League), and FCAAF (Filipino-Chinese Amateur Athletic Federation).

The NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24 will be a weekly ranking of high school players which will ultimately be used to select the participants in the annual SM-NBTC High School All-Star Game at the MOA Arena.

Sotto topped the list while UAAP rival CJ Cansino of University of Sto. Tomas was slotted fourth. NCAA stars Joel Cagulangan of champion College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills and Will Gozum of runner-up Mapua University are sandwiched between them.

While he appreciates the development, one person in particular has some reservations about the rankings – the initial one, at least. “Nagdi-disagree ako sa ranking nila,” Tiger Cubs head coach Chris Cantonjos said.

He then continued, “Tingin ko naman, makikita sa stats na deserving yung CJ (mag-number one).”

Cansino, UST’s do-it-all swingman, is currently far and away in the lead in the race for UAAP MVP with a whopping 100.57 Statistical Points (SPs) built on per game counts of 27.6 points in 43.5 percent shooting, 14.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.7 steals.

With that, he has erected a 26-point gap between him and second-running Sotto who has registered 74.43 SPs on averages of 12.9 points in 52.5 percent shooting, 12.7 rebounds, and 4.9 blocks.

That is exactly why, in Cantonjos view, their shining star should have topped the list. “Kung titignan natin ang numero, ang layo naman ng Cansino natin ngayon. ‘Di naman ata tama yun na tatanggalin natin sa bata yun,” he said.

He then continued, “Kumbaga, ibigay naman natin sa bata kung ano yung karapat-dapat.”

That statement goes not only for the NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24, but for all those wondering who is the best Juniors player in the Philippines. “Number one high school player yan. Sa lahat ng game, isa lang ata na-miss niyang double-double,” the Tiger Cubs’ mentor said.

Indeed, in eight of the nine games he has played, Cansino has posted a points-rebounds double-double. The caveat, however, is that he has been playing an average of more than 35 minutes.

Still, for Cantonjos, numbers don’t lie – both individually and as a team. As he put it, “Tignan natin yung stats. Napaka-unfair naman na ibibigay natin sa iba pero ang layo ng stats.”

He then continued, “Okay sana kung nasa dulo kami at hindi niya nabubuhat yung team, pero hindi e.”

At present, UST stands at the third spot, holding a 5-4 record. However, they were at the wrong end of an upset by lowly University of the Philippines Integrated School in their most recent outing.

Cansino’s next chance to topple Sotto will be on next Monday when the new rankings will be released.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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