Good news for UST? Tiger Cub star CJ Cansino wants to stay

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Dec 15, 2017 07:34 PM
Good news for UST? Tiger Cub star CJ Cansino wants to stay
UST's high school program has been brought back to life primarily because of CJ Cansino

CJ Cansino has had a double-double for University of Sto. Tomas in all six games thus far in the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The result for those double-doubles? Four wins, two losses, and solo third in the standings for the Tiger Cubs.

Unlike last season when it was quite too little too late for his breakout, the second-year swingman has wasted no time making his presence felt. “Tinuloy ko lang din po yung magandang second round ko last year kasi nanghinayang ako sa first round ko nun. Wala akong kumpyansa nun kasi nabigla ako na UAAP na ‘to,” he shared.

He then continued, “Bumalik na lang yung kumpyansa ko nung kinausap na ako palagi nila coach kung ano talagang role ko.”

Now, the UST coaching staff is nothing but proud that their tantalizing talent is finally making his mark.

From a skinny teen representing De La Salle Araneta and first eyed by Far Eastern University-Diliman, Cansino is now a reason for hope in Espana. “Galing po akong La Salle Araneta tapos nag-try rin ako sa FEU kaso magulo po yung nangyari. Naghanap po kami ng iba pang kukuha sa akin and buti na lang, merong UST,” he recalled.

He then continued, “Sabi ng parents ko rin po kasi, pati yung pag-aaral, maganda sa UST.”

As it turns out, the Valenzuela native made the right decision and is now the featured player for the Tiger Cubs.

In fact, in their near upset of powerhouse Nazareth School of National University, he almost singlehandedly won the game.

For Cansino, it was all about giving back to the school which gave him a chance. “Ngayong last season ko na, binubuhos ko na lahat para mapanalo ang UST,” he said.

And it’s not just in the Juniors and in the present, but also in the Seniors and in the future – if he had his way. “Sana nga po, tumuloy rin ako sa Seniors para bigyan din ako ng pagkakataon na iangat yung Growling Tigers kasi sobrang baba na ng pride pagdating sa basketball. Gusto ko ring i-prove sa Seniors na may magagawa ako for UST,” he said.

The do-it all player is being touted as the next coming of Kevin Ferrer – a Juniors MVP as a Tiger Cub who went on to star for the Growling Tigers in the Seniors.

As a 17-year-old, the six-foot-five Ferrer averaged 22 points, 12.1 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks en route to the MVP.

As an 18-year-old, the six-foot-two Cansino is norming 26.8 points, 12.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.8 assists and is one of the clear frontrunners for MVP.

As of the moment, whether or not Cansino will be able to follow in the footsteps of Ferrer is not yet a certainty.

However, the current King Tiger Cub wants to make it clear he hopes to keep donning the gold and white. “Nasa kanila na yun, pero first option ko, siyempre UST. Nasa puso ko na talaga yung Tigers at gusto ko talagang maglaro para sa kanila,” he said.

That’s still for tomorrow, though.

For now, Canisno just wants to bring his team back to the Final Four for the first time in six years. “Masaya po ako na nabigyan ako ng ganitong chance. Yung pinaghirapan ko na kahit injured ako ng eight months, nagpapasalamat ako na maganda pa rin ang pagkabalik ko,” he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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