CJ Cansino ready to perform captain’s duty for UP
CJ Cansino has played a grand total of just five games for the University of the Philippines (UP) after going through surgery to repair his ailing knee in July last year.
But the crafty guard, who was named Maroons skipper, understands that his patience will play a role, especially with the weight of responsibility that awaits him this September.
“I know my responsibilities,” he said shortly after 72-65 nipping of National University in the Filoil EcoOil Preseason Cup on Saturday.
“Long before I joined the team, coach Gold (Monteverde) already explained it to me. And now, going back (to the fold), I understand that everything goes through a process, so coach and I are patient,” he added.
Cansino’s looming captaincy comes at a time when UP is looking to reclaim its lofty perch in the league while dealing with the void left by vital cogs Carl Tamayo and Zavier Lucero.
It’s a tall order for anyone, let alone for somebody also coming off a second career-threatening knee injury. But it is that predicament that makes the 23-year-old ace an even better fit for the job.
“He already has the experience of how to face such situations,” Monteverde said of his ward in a separate chat with the Inquirer. “In terms of leadership, even when he was just on the sidelines, he has always been present, making sure he talks about what needs to be worked on, being that elder brother for the other guys.”
After being key for UP in its run to the Season 84 championship, Cansino was reduced to being a cheerleader in the Fighting Maroons’ title retention bid in October. It was supposed to be his final playing year as well.
So count on Cansino to make the most out of this chance. Monteverde does.
“This is not the CJ that we’ve seen before, I know that. But the goal is to have an even better CJ,” he went on. “He is on the right track right now. Step-by-step, he’s going towards his full potential as a player, and he’s doing well.”
Cansino said that he has been improving the other facets of his game like his weight, as he is not only preparing for the UAAP season “but also [for] what’s after it.”