Rookie sensation CJ Cansino of the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers is continuing to take the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament by storm.
In the Growling Tigers’ 79-68 romp over the University of the East Red Warriors that saw them eclipse their accumulated record in the past two seasons and grab solo fourth in the standings, Cansino came through with a historic performance.
The Rookie of the Year candidate emerged as the first freshman to chalk up a triple-double since 2003, finishing with 20 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists.
This exceptional feat was more than enough to earn him his second Chooks-to-Go/Collegiate Sports Press Corps UAAP Player of the Week award.
First-year UST head coach Aldin Ayo was the least surprised with his prized rookie’s effort.
“I know that ever since na kinuha ko si CJ, ang goal ko sa kanya is matulungan siya na mag-materialize lahat ng potential niya,” said Ayo.
“CJ is full of potential, gusto lang namin mag-materialize iyon. I hope hindi siya makuntento, [na] he continues improving. The good thing about CJ is that he always responds whenever sinasabihan namin,” he added.
For his part, Cansino deflected credit to Ayo’s system.
“Masaya siyempre dahil nakuha ko yung triple-double pero sinunod ko lang kasi ‘yung sistema na sharing the ball, na lahat kailangan gumana. Thankful ako sa sistema dahil nag-fit ito sa’kin,” said Cansino.
The former UAAP Juniors MVP, who celebrated his birthday last Saturday, dedicated the milestone to his coaches and the UST community.
“Oo, inspired ‘di lang dahil birthday ko, dahil (din) sa mga tao na grabe ‘yung mga sinasakripisyo sa team, lalo na ‘yung coaching staff. ‘Yung last game namin, ang pangit so para sa kanila talaga ‘to, to the community, and the coaches na sobra magsakripisyo sa team.”
Cansino bested teammate Marvin Lee, Thirdy Ravena of the Ateneo Blue Eagles, Brandon Bates of the DLSU Green Archers, and Jerrick Ahanmisi of the Adamson Soaring Falcons for the weekly plum given by print and online writers covering the beat.
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