CJ Cansino of University of Sto. Tomas is taking the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament by storm.
The rookie sensation came through with a historic performance in the Growling Tigers’ 79-68 romp over University of the East that enabled the school to surpass its win total the past two seasons and move up to solo fourth in the leaderboard.
The Rookie of the Year candidate emerged as the first freshman to chalk up a triple-double since 2003 after finishing with 20 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists - enough to earn his second Chooks-to-Go/Collegiate Sports Press Corps UAAP Player of the Week award.
Cansino bested teammate Marvin Lee, Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo, Brandon Bates of De La Salle, and Jerrick Ahanmisi of Adamson for the weekly award given by print and online writers covering the beat.
First-year UST head coach Aldin Ayo was the least surprised with his prized rookie’s effort.
“I know that ever since na kinuha ko si CJ, ang goal ko sa kanya is matulungan siya na mag-materialize lahat ng potential niya,” said Ayo.
“CJ is full of potential, gusto lang namin mag-materialize iyon. I hope hindi siya makuntento, he continues improving. The good thing about CJ is that he always responds whenever sinasabihan namin,” he added.
Cansino deflected the credit to Ayo’s system.
“Masaya syempre dahil nakuha ko yung triple-double pero sinunod ko lang kasi ‘yung sistema na sharing the ball, na lahat kailangan gumana. Thankful ako sa sistema dahil nag-fit ito sa’kin,” said Cansino.
The former UAAP Juniors MVP, who celebrated his birthday last Saturday, dedicated the milestone to his coaches and the UST community.
“Oo, inspired ‘di lang dahil birthday ko, dahil (din) sa mga tao na grabe ‘yung mga sinasakripisyo sa team, lalo na ‘yung coaching staff. ‘Yung last game namin, ang pangit so para sa kanila talaga ‘to, to the community, and the coaches na sobra magsakripisyo sa team.”