Captain CJ Cansino? Better believe it in UAAP 82, UST

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 12, 2019 01:22 PM
Captain CJ Cansino? Better believe it in UAAP 82, UST
Second-year star CJ Cansino will be counted upon to officially lead UST in its quest for a return to relevance

University of Sto. Tomas will be heading into the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament with a whole lot of optimism.

Aside from big-time recruits, the Growling Tigers are also all set to welcome back with open arms a CJ Cansino who has fully recovered from an ACL tear.

"Naglalaro na siya, actually. Almost two or three weeks na nga siya nagpa-practice," head coach Aldin Ayo shared about the recovery of their prized ward.

Even better, there could be no fear that Cansino wouldn’t be back to his good old talented self. "(Hindi) lilimitahan yung minuto kasi we made sure na pagbalik niya, full blast na lahat. We made sure na pagbalik niya, he's really ready to play," he said.

Last year, his first in the UAAP Srs., the 6-foot-2 swingman did nothing but impress by posting per game counts of 12.8 points in 44 percent shooting, 10.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists before injuring his knee. Prior to that, he also became the first rookie since 2003 to tally a triple-double.

Without a doubt, UST's future looked like it hinged on its homegrown talent.

And even after the ACL tear, coach Aldin still believes as much - so much so that he has named the sophomore star as team captain. "Siya lang ang sophomore na captain ball. We have a lot of leaders like si Renzo [Subido], si Enrique [Caunan], si Zach Huang who's the co-captain, pero si CJ, buo na yung batang yun e," he said.

He then continued, "Although he's a sophomore, yung respeto sa kanya ng team, nandoon na and I have no doubt he can lead us."

For his part, the 19-year-old said he is nothing but grateful for the full faith his one-time NCAA and one-time UAAP champion coach has in him. "Una sa lahat, siyempre masaya ako kasi binigyan ako ni coach ng responsibility na maging team captain kahit sophomore pa lang ako, pero at the same time, binigyan niya ako ng confidence dahil sa dami ng players, ako pa yung napili niya," he said.

Now he is the official leader of the Growling Tigers, Cansino has but one promise for the faithful over at Espana. "Siyempre, gusto ko ma-lead yung team sa mga panalo at sa championship. Gagawin ko lahat nang makakaya ko every game at every practice para matulungan yung coaching staff pati yung teammates ko para mag-grow kami lahat hanggang maabot namin yung goal namin," he said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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