CJ Cansino is far from 100 percent but he is going all-out in leading UST’s bid to return to the playoffs in the UAAP 82 basketball tournament.
After a slow start to the season as he continues to recover from his ACL injury last year, Cansino is picking up steam at the right time and is well on his way in reclaiming his place as one of the league’s brightest young stars.
The same sort of determination to get back to the semifinals is also evident in Mar Prado of Adamson in the women’s side of the tourney.
In a crucial contest where the Lady Falcons were out to strengthen their stranglehold on the No. 3 seed, she exploded for a career-best 40 points to go with eight rebounds, six assists, four steals, and a block.
“’Di siya nagbwakaw para makuha ‘yung 40 points niya,” said coach Ewon Arayi of Prado’s scoring outburst. “Dinala pa rin niya ‘yung team.”
Without a doubt, Prado and Cansino want nothing more than to help their teams keep playing up to the next round.
This explains why were named as co-winners of the Collegiate Press Corps Players of the Week.
The Lady Falcons’ top gun is only the third women’s player to receive the recognition, after National U’s Ria Nabalan and UP’s Pat Pesquera.
Cansino won his third weekly plum after getting two in his super rookie season.
That one ended earlier than expected as his left knee injury forced him to miss UST’ last game to rehab for nine months. He was only cleared to play a month before the new season. The 6-foot-1 guard struggled early on, averaging 4.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and less than one steal.
“Sobra akong na-frustrate nu’n kasi akala ko nagawa ko na lahat, akala ko kumpleto na ako,” he said. “Sabi ko nga before the season, 100 percent na ako, pero nung lumabas sa laro, hindi pa pala.”
In the Growling Tigers’ back-to-back wins in the last week, Cansino reminded everybody why he was named team captain as a sophomore with norms of 13.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.0 steals.