Eyeing an encore
It took one poor performance to push University of Santo Tomas freshman CJ Cansino into the record books in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.
After looking helpless in the Tigers’ crucial 75-70 loss to National University, where he seemed like a mismatch beside fellow rookie Dave Ildefonso of the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter, Cansino dedicated himself to a bounce-back performance.
He got it, in record fashion.
The 20-year-old forward became the league’s first rookie in recent memory to post a triple-double as he powered UST past University of the East, 79-68.
Cansino finished with 20 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists in the Growling Tigers’ fifth victory in 10 games and he said that his poor performance against the Bulldogs was what drove him to become better.
“After the game, I immediately watched the replay and I looked at my lapses and I told myself that I have to improve so that became extra motivation for me,” said Cansino.
UST will need some more of that on Saturday, when the Tigers try to fan their flickering Final Four hopes in a return match against La Salle at Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The two teams clash at 2 p.m., with UST hoping to get back at La Salle after a crushing first-round rout. The Tigers certainly need the victory to stay in the hunt for a semifinal appearance.
In the other game, University of the Philippines also tries to bolster its own Final Four bid when it tangles with gasping National U, who failed to gain major headway despite the win over the Tigers.
The Maroons and the Tigers look like they will end up in a footrace for the last Final Four slot, with the Bulldogs hoping to crash the party.
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