UAAP: CJ Cansino eager to make up for lost time after ACL injury, pandemic layoff

CJ Cansino UP UAAP

UP’s CJ Cansino. Photo from UAAP

MANILA, Philippines — CJ Cansino seeks to be more consistent for the University of the Philippines in the final stretch of UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament.

The Fighting Maroons, who are assured of the No. 2 spot with an 11-2 record, try to prevent the unbeaten Ateneo Blue Eagles (13-0) from sweeping the eliminations and earning an outright Finals ticket for the second straight season and earning on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

The transferee guard, who had an impressive rookie year with University of Santo Tomas in 2018, admitted his game declined since his torn ACL injury in Season 81 and a long pandemic layoff in 2020 before returning to action this year with a new school.

“I have to be more consistent. Since my injury and the long break caused by the pandemic. The level of my game went down. I think I also lost my aggressiveness on offense and defense,” said Cansino in Filipino after putting up 14 points and five rebounds in UP’s 96-67 victory over his former team UST last Thursday.

“I have to make up for lost time when we face Ateneo and in the playoffs. I am ready,” he added.

But the 22-year-old is slowly finding his groove with the Maroons, averaging 9.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 18 minutes and 39 seconds of play per game — way better than his second season with UST in 2019, where he posted 5.9 points, 5.2 boards and 1.9 dimes per outing.

UP coach Goldwin Monteverde lauded Cansino’s effort and commitment every practice and every game.

“Regardless of the result of his game, what’s important for us is what we’re seeing from him and every practice,” said Monteverde in Filipino. “He’s really giving that effort every practice, day in, day out, and even in our games, just to give his best. I think, through that, anyone would improve.” 

The Maroons coach believes the best is yet to come from Cansino as they play in the post-season next week.

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