Cut from the same mold
Prior to the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament, there have only been two triple-doubles registered since 2003, according to league statistician Pong Ducanes. Former Ateneo Blue Eagle LA Tenorio notched one back in July 16, 2015, with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists; while in August 20, 2006, former UP Fighting Maroon Marvin Cruz had one with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.
In the following years, student-athletes like Ryan Buenafe and Terrence Romeo came close, but to no avail.
This season, however, there have already been two triple-doubles registered. And it comes as no surprise that it was the University of the Philippines’ 6-foot-1 combo guard Juan Gomez de Liano and the University of Santo Tomas’ 6-foot-1 utility swingman CJ Cansino who both notched the feat.
Gomez de Liano was the one who broke the ice, finishing with 15 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists in the Fighting Maroons’ 94-81 win over the UE Red Warriors last October 21.
Seven days later, Cansino joined him.
“My teammates were saying nga, ‘Juan wala ka na, There’s another guy who got a triple-double, rookie pa.’ I said, ‘Sino, sino?’” recalled Gomez de Liano, as both UST and UP were playing on the same day last Sunday.
The UST rookie had 20 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists in the Growling Tigers’ 79-68 over, yes, the UE Red Warriors.
The two 19-year-old kids have been playing with and against each other ever since their days with basketball camp Better Basketball.
“Friends talaga kami. Parehas kami na naglaro sa Better Basketball, yung skills camp, kaya naging close din kami ni Juan,” disclosed Cansino.
“Magagaling talaga yung coaches.”
“We have the same trainer eh – Better Basketball Philippines with coach Patrick Tantioco,” added Gomez de Liano.
“We get along. We do workouts together. He’s a good guy.”
But knowing Cansino, Gomez de Liano said that those mind-boggling numbers are just normal for the UST rookie.
“I wasn’t even shocked. I think it was a normal game for him.”
With three more years in the UAAP, it’s safe to say that the two will have a triple-double race for the years to come – just like what Scottie Thompson and Jio Jalalon did back in the NCAA Season 91 Seniors Basketball Tournament.
For now, however, they’re both racing for that coveted Final Four spot.
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