UAAP: Cansino says UP still a work in progress, UST clash ‘just a regular game’
MANILA, Philippines — CJ Cansino admitted there are a lot of things to work on for the revamped University of the Philippines after starting its UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball campaign on the wrong foot.
Cansino made an impressive debut as a Fighting Maroon topscoring with 21 points, five rebounds, and three steals, but UP yielded to defending champion Ateneo, 81-90, in the opener on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The transferee from University of Santo Tomas sparked UP’s comeback from a 55-75 deficit, joining hands with Ricci Rivero and Malick Diouf to cut it down to 78-85. But Ateneo displayed its championship poise to complete its convincing win in the opener.
“I think I got the timing because I trust the system of coach Gold. When I got the chance, I took the shots. It’s a matter of our ball movement,” Cansino said. “Luckily, my shots went in and I’m happy to help my team, although we lost.”
“For me, we still have a lot of things to work on, especially our team chemistry since we only had a short time to prepare for this season,” he added.
The 6-foot-2 guard is optimistic that his new team will be able to build their chemistry and learn from this opening game loss in their upcoming games.
Interestingly, Cansino and the Maroons will face his former team, the UST Growling Tigers on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old said all is well between him and his former school, which lost the key pieces of their 2019 runner-up finish in Season 82 after the controversial Sorsogon bubble two years ago.
“It’s no longer a big deal for me. We all moved on. I’m okay with my former teammates, coaches and UST,” Cansino said. “It’s just a regular game that we have to prepare like how we prepared against Ateneo.”
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