IN the offseason, whenever first-year UST head coach Aldin Ayo was asked about his recruits, he always had a short and sweet answer.
“We have CJ Cansino.”
And just after the first round of eliminations in the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament, CJ Cansino has already proven his coach correct for having that much faith in him.
The do-it-all swingman has emerged as a top contender for Rookie of the Year honors.
Cansino delivered two of his best games thus far in two of the Growling Tigers’ best games, averaging 11 points, 11 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.0 steals in their back-to-back wins, winning the vote as Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Sports Press Corps UAAP Player of the Week. He was picked over teammate Zachy Huang, Ateneo’s Thirdy Ravena and Ange Kouame, La Salle main man Aljun Melecio and NU Bulldogs rookie John Lloyd Clemente.
Cansino had 17 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals in their blowout win over UP last Wednesday.
Four days later, he didn’t score that much with just 5.0 markers, but made his presence felt with 12 boards and three assists dimes as they took down FEU.
For the 19-year-old, all of what he does is for the school that has believed in him ever since he was in high school. “Gusto ko lang ibigay yung best ko for UST kaya kahit pa noong Juniors hanggang ngayon, pag pumapasok ako sa loob ng court, binibigay ko talaga yung best ko,” he said.
The former Juniors MVP has only vowed to keep working hard.
“Masaya ako na yung extra hard work ko, lumalabas din, pero dagdag motivation lang yun para mas galingan ko pa,” he said.