ANTIPOLO -- As much as University of Santo Tomas wanted to avenge itself from La Salle's 27-point beatdown, 99-72 back in the first round, doing so wasn't going to be easy with two of the former's main cogs hobbled by injuries.
CJ Cansino and Renzo Subido tried to play through the pain on Saturday, but not even their best efforts could stop the Growling Tigers from suffering a 41-point bloodbath, 110-69 at the hands of the Green Archers.
"Hindi sila 100-percent healthy," bared coach Aldin Ayo.
The UST backcourt duo, who are both averaging 29 minutes per outing, saw their minutes sliced down in the defeat as they tried, and failed, to keep up with the La Salle rampage.
Cansino, who is still bothered by an ankle injury he suffered in the Growling Tigers' last game against UE, only played 22 minutes and logged 14 points, nine rebounds, and three assists.
"Ito yung tapilok ko last game. Medyo masakit pa siya pero kaya naman," shared the UST wunderkind.
Subido, on the other hand, played 18 minutes in his first game from a left ankle injury which saw him miss the victory over the Red Warriors last week.
"I wasn't able to practice for almost a week. Itong game na lang ako naglaro talaga," said Subido, who expressed his frustrations after going scoreless from botching his six attempts from the field.
"We lost by a very big margin and I couldn't play my best sa loob even if I wanted to help the team. Alam ko naman na may maibibigay pa ako and di ko yun naipakita."
But healthy or not, Cansino and Subido vowed to be ready for UST's next games, especially with the race to the Final Four as tightly contested as it is this UAAP Season 81.
"My ankle is getting better naman. Maraming tightness lang around it kasi overworked nga, but hopefully by next game, 100-percent na ako," said Subido.
Cansino added: "Pag ganitong laro na, hindi na dapat iniisip yung mga ganitong injuries. Eight months kaming nagtatrabaho, dahil sa sprain lang hindi ako maglalaro? Walang frustration na hindi ako 100-percent. I'll just give my best talaga every game."
"These last two weeks, magpe-prepare kami ng 100-percent, 200-percent pa nga kasi lagi naman kaming nagpe-prepare," continued the 19-year-old rookie, who's expecting a tough draw in UST's last assignments against Adamson, UP, and Ateneo.
"Paghahandaan talaga namin itong last three games at sana umabot kami sa Final Four."