UNTIL a few weeks ago, former University of the Philippines guard Marvin Cruz was the last UAAP player to record a triple-double in the UAAP and he held that distinction for 12 long years.
But in a span of just one week, two young guns achieved the statistical feat.
UP sophomore Juan Gomez de Liano tallied 15 points, 12 assists and 12 rebounds in the Fighting Maroons' 94-81 victory over UE last October 21, before UST rookie CJ Cansino had 20 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists a week later in the Growling Tigers' 79-68 win over the same Red Warriors squad.
It's an impressive feat for the young turks who are leading their respective teams to a Final Four spot in the ongoing UAAP Season 81 men's basketball wars.
"My teammates were saying nga na, 'Juan wala ka na. There’s another guy who got a triple-double. Rookie pa.'," Gomez de Liano shared his fellow teammates' ribbing.
"I said, 'Sino?' They said si CJ Cansino nga. But I wasn’t even shocked. I think it was a normal game for him."
Cansino, meanwhile, said: "Friends kami ni Juan."
Those numbers shouldn't come as a surprise, though. The two share the same skills training facility in Better Basketball PH in Manila.
"Parehas kami na Better Basketball nagwo-work ng skills kaya naging close din kami ni Juan. Tinuturuan talaga kami. Magagaling talaga yung coaches," said the 19-year-old Cansino.
Gomez de Liano, the Season 80 Rookie of the Year, added, "We have the same trainer with coach Patrick Tantioco. We get along. We do workouts together and he’s a good guy."
Though the UP playmaker takes pride with his own statistical mark, he couldn't help but heap praises on the UST wunderkind who not only did it in his rookie year but also collected those numbers with one good leg.
"He’s still young, he’s a freshie so for a freshman to do that, he’s really a talented young kid," said Gomez de Liano of Cansino.