Should MVP CJ Cansino of UST be in the top five of the NBTC 24?

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Feb 14, 2018 06:50 PM
Should MVP Cansino of UST be in the top five of the NBTC 24?
Fourth has been the highest ranking UAAP Juniors MVP CJ Cansino has gotten in the weekly NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24

CJ Cansino is poised to hoist the MVP trophy in the 80th Season of the UAAP Juniors Basketball Tournament.

With per game counts of 24.6 points in 43 percent shooting, 12.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.4 steals and nearly a block, the University of Sto. Tomas standout was, without a doubt, the most productive individual player throughout the tournament.

And he has the numbers to back that up as his total of 88.43 Statistical Points (SPs) is 18 points better than his closest competitor in Ateneo de Manila High School’s Kai Sotto who tallied 70.21 SPs.

That lead actually whittled down from a whopping 26 points after the first round of eliminations.

Now that the MVP is signed, sealed, and just waiting to be delivered, Tiger Cubs head coach Chris Cantonjos said he is nothing but proud of his prized ward.

And with that, Cantonjos reiterated his statement that Cansino deserves higher esteem – especially in the National Basketball Training Centre Chooks-to-Go 24 weekly rankings. “Sinasabi ko sa kanya, ‘Tapos na yung MVP, pero patunayan mo pa rin na ikaw yun lalo na’t nagkakaroon ka ng problems regarding sa NBTC,’” he shared.

The NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24 is a weekly ranking of high school players taking part in the CESAFI-NBTC, FCAAF, MMBL, NCAA, and UAAP tournaments.

The pride of UST was ranked fourth in the initial list, but then slipped to eighth, seventh, ninth, and seventh again in the succeeding weeks.

This was already the head coach’s call ever since the first week of the NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24. “Nagdi-disagree ako sa ranking nila,” he said then.

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

A month later, Cantonjos remains adamant in saying that Cansino’s impact game in and game out and his leadership of the Espana-based squad onto the playoffs, despite all odds, should have already been more than enough to merit consideration for him to be, at least, in the top five.

As that is already out of their control, the Tiger Cubs mentor said he just keeps reminding his do-it-all swingman that he should have no worries because his game speaks for itself. “Sinasabi ko sa kanya, ‘Wag na niya tignan yung rankings. The way you play, dun mo tignan kasi makikita naman yung totoo kung paano ka naglalaro,’” he said.

In Cansino’s view, those who have been put on a higher pedestal than him only deserve their places. “For me po, okay lang na wala ako sa top five kasi yung mga nandun, deserving sila lahat,” he said, talking about Sotto, fellow Blue Eaglet Belangel, NCAA champion Joel Cagulangan of La Salle Greenhills, NCAA MVP Will Gozum of Mapua High School, and Far Eastern University-Diliman game-changer L-Jay Gonzales.

He then continued, “At ako po, alam ko sa sarili ko na marami pa akong dapat i-improve.”

Humble as always, the do-it-all swingman looked to himself, and just himself, as the reason why he is yet to make his way back into the top five.

Whatever happens, though, the UAAP Juniors MVP is not sweating his spot in the NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24. “Nandun man o wala po ako sa rankings, okay lang po sa akin. Siguro po, may ibang parte pa silang tinitignan, pero sa akin, magtatrabaho lang po ako para matulungang manalo ang team ko,” he remarked.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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