CJ Cansino himself acknowledged that his performance last UAAP season was below his expectations.
That's why even after University of Santo Tomas' runner-up finish, the 6-foot-2 guard never stopped his training.
"After ng UAAP, hindi na ako nagpahinga," he said. "Nasa isip ko, wala naman akong pinakitang maganda so bakit ako magbabakasyon."
It wasn't long before he's reaping the fruits of his labor as in his first game in the 2020 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup, Cansino showed what he's made of, firing nine points, five rebounds, and five steals to guide Builders Warehouse-UST to a 106-93 thumping of Diliman College before the league shutdown.
Even Growling Tigers coach Aldin Ayo sees the vast improvement of his third-year court general.
"Tingin ko mas fit si CJ ngayon. Naibabalik na niya yung laro niya at nandoon na ulit yung confidence," he said.
Cansino agrees: "Feeling ko rin better ang pakiramdam ko than UAAP."
It was a long wait for Cansino to play at this level after he missed last season's campaign due to his ACL injury. It didn't help that he missed Builders Warehouse-UST's opener due to a sprained ankle, furthering his excitement.
"Last year, di ako nakalaro kaya sobrang excited ko. Pero may plan naman si God at alam ko na hindi Niya ako papabayaan kaya naghintay na lang ako," he said.
When Cansino finally took the court, everything fell into place as he guided the Growling Tigers to their second win.
"Bago ka mapunta sa PBA, dito ka dadaan eh. Iba rin ang experience pag nasa D-League," he said.
It's an experience the 20-year-old relishes, although Cansino knows that he and the rest of his side still has ways to go this early in their preseason preparations.
"Kailangan pa rin yung consistency namin. Lagi kaming roller coaster eh, akyat baba ng akyat baba. Siguro kailangan namin na paangat lang ng paangat," he said. "Yung consistency namin, di bababa. Lagi lang dapat paangat ng paangat."