In less than 24 hours, CJ Cansino has turned from a Growling Tiger to a Fighting Maroon.
University of the Philippines has confirmed that the 6-foot-2 utility guard has committed to the school.
Though still carrying a heavy heart over what happened between him and University of Santo Tomas, the 20-year-old had to move on quick, as the window for enrollment for the school year 2020-21 was closing.
For him, UP was the school where he will fit in the best.
“Noong natanggap ko na, na hindi na ako pwede sa UST, marami po akong kinausap and kinonsulta,” Cansino said in a statement.
“Ang naging pakiramdam ko po ay mas bagay talaga ako sa UP, mas comfortable ako sa UP.”
In his two-year run with the Growling Tigers, the UAAP Season 80 Juniors MVP posted norms of 8.71 points, 7.35 rebounds, and 2.65 assists per game.
For head coach Bo Perasol, Cansino is a necessary pick-up for his team, since Ricci Rivero is about to graduate while Juan Gomez de Liaño’s return to UP remains uncertain.
“CJ will be a great addition to ensuring the sustainability of the program, especially with possibly just one player left from last season playing for Season 84. I will personally help him make the transition to being a Fighting Maroon,” said the amiable tactician.
“CJ will definitely enjoy his stay in UP.”
NoWhereToGoButUP chief Atty. Agaton Uvero, on the other hand, shared that UP has always kept tabs on Cansino.
The school already expressed interest in trying to recruit him, but Cansino was firmly decided on heading to UST’s senior squad.
“We wanted him to play for UP when he graduated from UST high school two years ago, but his heart has always been with UST,” said Uvero.
“We are happy and lucky that he chose to be part of the Fighting Maroons this time.”
Only three schools were able to make a pitch to Cansino: UP, Letran, and Ateneo.
Despite being a Fighting Maroon now, Cansino — who will have to sit out one year and will still have two playing years left — shared that UST will forever remain in his golden heart.
“UST is my dream school, kaya nalulungkot talaga ako sa nangyari. Hinding-hindi ko makakalimutan ang UST and thankful ako sa kanila na binigyan nila ako ng opportunity, pero I need to move on.”