In the short window that CJ Cansino was on the transfer market, several student-athletes from both the NCAA and the UAAP courted him.
And one of those was ex-NU Bulldog and current Ateneo Blue Eagle Dave Ildefonso.
“Tara! Sabayan mo ko sa residency, CJ Cansino,” tweeted Ildefonso.
“Di na natin kailangan mag bantayan pre, hirap na ko.”
Cansino would then reply, “Sakit mo sa katawan boss.”
Ultimately, Cansino ended up at University of the Philippines, extending their rivalry to Katipunan.
During a special The Prospects Pod presented by SMART Sports and supported by Chris Sports episode, the two stalwarts were able to look back on their rivalry.
Actually, the two were not quite rivals during their days in high school.
It all started during the first year in college.
“Siyempre kapag naglalaro naman sa loob ng court, walang kai-kaibigan, walang kaki-kakilala,” shared Cansino.
“So, doon talaga lumalabas ‘yung competitiveness namin dalawa nito ni Dave eh.”
“Para sa akin naman kasi, kapag kalaban ko talaga si CJ, siyempre napu-pump ako kasi alam ko naman na kakayanin ni CJ eh,” added Ildefonso.
In UAAP Season 81, Ildefonso and the Bulldogs swept Cansino and the Growling Tigers, 2-0. But Cansino was able to get it back a year later as UST went 2-0 against NU.
Many expected the rivalry to dominate the headlines for years to come. Then a sudden twist of fate altered the course of their respective careers.
A month after Season 82 ended, Ildefonso decided to pack his bags and head home to Ateneo — a team that he had not beated during his first two years in the UAAP.
Then just last week, UST sent Cansino packing. He did not stay homeless for long, though, as UP decided to pick him up — a Fighting Maroons team which has technically not beaten him for the last two years.
(Editor’s note: the only time UP beat UST was when Cansino tore his ACL.)
Now that both of them are in Katipunan, there is a new chapter to their and their schools’ rivalry. But if they had a choice, they would rather not face each other in the Finals for Season 84 and 85.
“Para sa akin, hindi ko wish ‘yun kasi ang lakas ng team nila eh. If ever nga na magkalaban kami, for sure magiging three games ‘yan for sure,” said Ildefonso.
“Kung maaari hindi na lang sila ‘yung makakalaban namin sa Finals kasi knowing Ateneo, mahirap talaga, lalo na experience nila puro Finals sila. So same kami ng sagot,” opined Cansino.