CJ Cansino announced his return to the UAAP with a second-half eruption, leading University of the Philippines to a 68-51 victory over Adamson University on Sunday in the Season 86 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Cansino had missed the entirety of the previous season after undergoing surgery to repair his right ACL and MCL.
However, he didn’t miss a beat in his first game back, scoring 19 points with five three-pointers made.
“Sobrang saya and thank God na nakabalik ako sa paglalaro. Sobrang happy ko na sa pagbabalik ko nakatulong pa ako sa team. Isa lang panalangin ko, maging healthy ako buong season,” said Cansino, who had already undergone two major surgeries in his young career.
The fifth-year winger drained three three-pointers in the third quarter, which extended the Fighting Maroons’ lead to 48-35 heading into the final period.
Reigning MVP Malick Diouf put up impressive numbers with 20 points, 17 rebounds, and four blocks for UP.
Harold Alarcon, who hit a buzzer-beater in the first quarter, finished with 10 points. Meanwhile, Francis Lopez grabbed 13 rebounds to go along with five points in his UAAP debut.
“Nung first quarter I though we were a little bit slow and very impatient defensively but good thing the team adjusted. Yung defense caught up din nung third,” said UP head coach Goldwin Monteverde, whose wards will face University of the East next on Wednesday.
Matthew Montebon scored 13 points for the Soaring Falcons in their losing effort, and Didat Hanapi added 11 points.
Jerom Lastimosa is out indefinitely due to a knee injury he sustained during practice before the season started.
Adamson will aim to secure a win against the University of Santo Tomas on Wednesday as well.
UP (68) –– Diouf 20, Cansino 19, Alarcon 10, Cagulangan 5, Lopez 5, Gonzales 3, Felicilda 2, Torculas 2, Alter 2, Torres 0, Pablo 0, Belmonte 0, Abadiano 0, Briones 0, Andres 0.
AdU (51) — Montebon 13, Hanapi 11, Sabandal 8, Manzano 8, Colonia 4, Magbuhos 3, Ojarikre 2, Barasi 2, Barcelona 0, Ramos 0, Erolon 0, Calisay 0, Yerro 0, Anabo 0, Canete 0.
Quarterscores: 16-11, 31-25, 48-35, 68-51