COMING off the worst game of his young career, University of Santo Tomas’ rookie sensation CJ Cansino bounced back in the best way possible.
Limited to just seven points and committing seven turnovers in their blowout loss to La Salle on Wednesday, Cansino came up with a double-double of 17 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Growling Tigers to a huge win over the UE Red Warriors on Saturday in the UAAP basketball tournament.
“Pinaghirapan ko to. I worked hard on this simula bata ako. Ginagawa ko lang yung best ko. Every game, naka-focus talaga ako,” said Cansino.
“Yung adjustment ko, pinapanood ko past games ko, tinitignan ko ano kulang ko para next game, meron din akong pangontra sa next game nila. Pinanood ko lang mga hindi ko nagawa na pwede kong gawin next game,” he added.
It also helped that he was playing against a familiar coach in former Ateneo juniors mentor Joe Silva.
“Si coach Joe Silva, alam ko rin pano siya mag-coach so tinignan ko rin anong ginawa niya sa akin nung Ateneo pa siya. Kasi siyampre, gagawin din niya sa akin yun,” said Silva.
Aldin Ayo was naturally proud of his rookie, singing the former UAAP juniors MVP praises after the game.
Ayo said he challenged Cansino to play like former Letran guard Rey Nambatac, a guard known for going after rebounds.
"Good thing about CJ every time you say something to him right away he responds. Lagi ko sinasabi sa kanya 'gayahin mo si Nambatac. Gayahin mo si Rey.' Small man yun di naman kalakihan di naman yun kalakasan yung katawan pero nakaka ilang rebounds si Rey," said Ayo after the match.
"You have to admire the humility of that boy. He really wants to learn and hindi siya nakukunteto kung ano meron sa kanya," he added.
Cansino says it’s not that hard to flourish under Ayo’s system.
“Binibigyan niya kami ng equal opportunity. Wala siyang main man na parang, ito, CJ Cansino, ikaw lang tututukan ko. Di siya ganun. Lahat, equal opportunity,” Cansino shared.
“Kung sinong maglaro nang maayos this game, siya talaga maglalaro. Siyempre, pinapatunayan ko sa lahat na belong din ako rito.”