IT might be a bit too early, but it's a sure bet that CJ Cansino is the future of University of Santo Tomas.
Ex-King Tiger Kevin Ferrer can vouch for that, seeing how good the rookie has played this UAAP Season 81.
"Sobrang aggressive niya. Ang sarap niya panoorin dahil sobrang tapang niya," said the Ginebra forward, who was in attendance in UST's big 78-70 win over FEU on Sunday.
"Nandoon sa kanya yung tinatawag namin na 3Ps: yung puso, pride, tsaka palaban. Sana mahawa niya yung teammates niya sa aggressiveness niya."
Ferrer couldn't help but to see a little bit of himself in Cansino.
"Yung tapang talaga, yun ang masasabi ko na similarity namin," he said before immediately putting a demarcation line on their styles with a laugh. "Mas aggressive siya eh. Ako magulang lang."
After all, Ferrer and Cansino were the last two Tiger Cubs to win the MVP award in the juniors' division and continued their journey with the Growling Tigers when they went to the seniors' level.
For Ferrer, Cansino staying put in Espana furthers the latter's lore, saying, "Sobrang saya ko na nag-stay siya sa UST kasi di na siya umalis sa tahanan natin, hindi tulad ng iba na lumilipat at naga-adjust pa. Sana full support pa ang UST sa kanya para mas ma-boost pa yung game niya."
Cansino, on the other hand, is just humbled with the kind words from Ferrer.
"Sobrang saya and grateful ko sa kanya kasi si Kevin Ferrer, nasa PBA na and naabot na niya yung pangarap ng kahit sinong player. Kaya grateful ako na masabihan niya ng ganoon," he said.
So far this season, Cansino has established himself as a keeper - he currently ranks seventh in the statistical points race for the MVP plum with his averages of 14.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 2.9 assists.
But rather than be pressured with his early success, the 19-year-old rookie would rather let his game do the talking.
"Gusto ko lang din naman kasing maglaro. Gusto ko lang ibigay yung best ko for UST. Walang pressure kasi kung mas ma-pressure ako, mas nawawala yung laro ko," he said.
Ferrer also didn't hesitate giving in Cansino a sound advice with his UAAP career -- one the 6-foot-1 swingman can lean on moving forward in his career.
"Wag siyang mapagod mag-improve," he said. "Kung nasaan siya, dapat higitan pa niya yung meron siya. Kailangan nag-iimprove siya everyday like yung sa leadership at decision making dahil sigurado ako na future King Tiger siya."