For the first time, ex-University of Santo Tomas skipper CJ Cansino revealed what he went through during the last few months inside the Growling Tigers’ camp in Sorsogon, Bicol.
During an episode of Virtual Playground’s Anong Tunay, the 20-year-old — though not wanting to divulge their life inside the so-called ‘Bicol Bubble’ — shared that his battle there turned into mental warfare.
“Mental health — ‘yun ang naging problema ko.
“Inaatake ako ng anxiety, napansin ng family ko na pumapayat ako, nahihirapan ako matulog, nahihirapan ako kumain, wala akong gana. Sobrang drained, exhausted na ako sa last three months,” shared Cansino.
According to a report by ABS-CBN News’ Camille Naredo, the Growling Tigers have been training in Sorsogon over the last two months, and Cansino was removed for “defiance of authority”.
Cansino confirmed that he asked the team’s brass if he could return home to Manila for a few days to visit his family in Valenzuela City, citing that he and some of his teammates were already homesick.
But what happened next was something he did not expect.
“Sinabi sa akin na, ‘CJ, you’re off the team.’
“‘Yung tanong na pumasok sa isip ko, ‘Bakit ganun? Bakit ang bilis naman nila mag-decision?’ Hindi man lang nila ako nabigyan ng second chance para makabawi man lang, at ‘di ako tuluyang umalis. ‘Yun ang pumapasok sa isip ko nung panahon na tinanggal ko. Hindi ko rin masagot kasi ‘yun din ‘yung tanong sa isip ko, na ba’t ang bilis nila akong tinanggal?” said Cansino, a product of the UST High School program.
Cansino, Bismarck Lina, and Brent Paraiso were able to return to Manila last Wednesday.
Only Cansino was removed from the team, though.
Doubts immediately set in his mind during the trip back to Manila.
“Unang pumasok sa isip ko, UST ‘yung nagbigay ng chance na maabot ko ‘yung pangarap, UST din pala ‘yung mag-aalis nun.
“Naisip ko may kukuha pa kaya sa akin? ‘Yung feeling na baka wala na kumuha sa akin, wala nang kumuhang school. Heartbreak sa akin kasi ‘di ko alam kung matutuloy pa pangarap ko mag-basketball player, makapagtapos, kasi walang kasiguraduhan kung may kukuha sa akin,” he shared.
Despite the cards dealt to him by the school, Cansino confessed that he holds no grudge against his former school.
Moreover, what happened and is happening in Sorsogon is not his story to tell.
“Ayoko na magsalita, respeto na lang sa UST at sa teammates ko. Ayoko rin na sa akin manggaling ‘yun kasi kung sa akin manggaling ‘yun, alam kong masisira ang team. Alam ko ang mangyayari sa UST,” he said.
“Sila na ang bahalang mag-confirm dyan. Out na ako diyan.”
One of the biggest lessons Cansino learned during his ordeal is the importance of mental health.
And he vows that he will be an advocate of its importance for the rest of his career.
“‘Wag natin gawing biro ‘yun kasi hanggang ngayon, akala nila ‘yung mental health parang sipon lang na sobrang dali lang na hindi isipin. Hindi ganoon kadali ‘yun.
“Kung ano-ano pumapasok sa isip mo, kung ano-ano ‘yung mararamdaman mo na akala mo mentally strong ka na pero hindi pala talaga,” said the UP transferee.