ANTIPOLO - Sidelined for nine months as he recovered from an ACL injury, CJ Cansino sought ways to improve his game, even though his movement was very much limited in practice.
"Ayoko yung wala akong ginagawa habang nagte-therapy ako, so kung ano yung talagang pwede kong gawin, ginagawa ko at extra shooting lang yung pwede kong gawin," the University of Santo Tomas forward recalled.
"Siguro mga five to eight months na puro shooting lang na 500 shots a day. Sabi rin ni coach Aldin (Ayo), mag-shooting muna at kung ano lang pwede mong gawin, yun muna gawin mo para makatulong sa yo."
But it hasn't been an easy road to recovery for the Valenzuela-bred Cansino, who predictably saw his numbers take a dive after a sensational rookie year where he posted 12.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists.
The 19-year-old has only netted 6.0 points, 4.6 boards, and 1.8 assists this UAAP Season 82.
"Sobra akong na-frustrate kasi akala ko nagawa ko na lahat. Di talaga ako nagpapahinga, wala akong rest day. Inaaraw-araw ko yung therapy ko at pagba-basketball ko. Akala ko kumpleto na ako. Sabi ko nga 100-percent na ako, pero nung lumabas sa laro hindi pa pala," he said.
Yet through it all, he just kept faith.
"Naging learning process din sa akin yun, na wag mag-stop kahit na feeling mo kumportable ka. Make yourself feel uncomfortable every time para mag-work hard ka palagi."
The endless hours spent on shooting practice is finally paying off.
The 6-foot-2 guard has shot 54-percent from deep over his past two games, going a collective 6-of-11 from three-point and in UST's wins over University of the Philippines and National University.
Numbers were impressive: 12 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds against the Fighting Maroons before hiking it to 15 points, five rebounds, three assists, three steals against the Bulldogs.
While his shooting has immensely improved, Cansino said his slashing game will always be there as he seeks to be a well-rounded player for UST.
"Di na mawawala yun," he said. "Siguro may konting takot lang sa mentality na yun, pero kaya ko pa naman."
"Lagi ko lang binibigay yung best ko at tinuturo rin sa amin ni coach Aldin na wag ma-pressure. Just give your best every time and si God na bahala."