CJ CANSINO has shown his utmost loyalty with University of Santo Tomas by staying put with the Growling Tigers after a successful high school basketball career as a Tiger Cub.
But yesterday, the 20-year old Cansino expressed his sadness over what had transpired between him and UST recently.
In a statement, Cansino revealed that he was unceremoniously removed by the team even if he did not want to.
“Kung bibigyan ako ng isang rason kahit pa man sobrang daming rason na umalis ako, mag-stay ako eh kasi dream school ko ang UST,” said Cansino. “Bigyan lang nila ako ng isang rason para hindi lumipat kahit maraming rason para umalis, lalaro parin ako sa UST.
"Kaya lang tinanggal ako eh. Hindi mo naman kasi puwede ipagpilitan yung sarili mo sa team na ayaw na sa iyo.”
On Thursday night, news broke out that Cansino and the Tigers have parted ways. UST coach Aldin Ayo also confirmed the development but has not yet heard from him yesterday regarding Cansino's removal.
Cansino played for two seasons for the España-based squad and was last season's team captain when the Tigers made their first UAAP men's basketball Finals appearance since 2015.
Ayo even took pride of Cansino not only as a scrappy swingman but also as an ideal skipper.
“Una sa lahat, UST is my dream school. Kaya nalulungkot talaga ako sa nangyari,” said Cansino, who refused to divulge the reason why he was let go, saying that he would rather choose to stay silent.
Cansino's desire to remain in UST for college was greatly shown during his final season with the Tiger Cubs.
Aside from winning the Season 80 juniors basketball MVP honors, Cansino, led UST to a Final Four appearance in 2018. That made an impact for Ayo, who during that time was the newly-appointed Tigers coach.
Cansino did not entertain any other offers from other schools, giving his full commitment to UST after graduating from high school.
“Ibang-iba ang Tomasino pag dating sa sumoporta," said Cansino.
“Sobrang tumaba yung puso ko nung nakita ko yung mga suporta nila kahit na nalaman nilang lilipat ako. Hindi kaya i-express ng salita kung gaano ako nag papasalamat sa UST sa pag bibigay ng opportunity sa pag tupad ng pangarap ko. UST na yun eh. Lagi ko sinasabi na hindi ko maisip na naglalaro ako sa ibang kulay kundi dilaw lang. hinding hindi ko makakalimutan ang UST,” he added.
The 6-foot-2 Cansino left everything on the floor for UST during his two seasons.
In his rookie year, Cansino averaged 12.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists before suffering an ACL injury in the final game of the season.
Cansino recovered from that injury and was appointed as the Tigers' captain as a sophomore. His numbers were down from last season, averaging 5.78 points, 5.22 rebounds and 1.94 assists in 18 games played, but he became UST's glue to make it to the league's biggest stage.
Despite the abrupt ending to his journey as a Tiger, Cansino was still very thankful and grateful.
“Gusto ko magpasalamat sa mga coaches sa dalawang taon na pag tuturo sakin para mas mag improve ako not just a player pero kung pano maging mabuting tao. Sa mga teammate ko na naging pamilya ko nadin hinding hindi ko kayo makakalimutan. Alam niyo kung ano yung sinakripisyo natin — lalo na sa management salamat dahil sa walang sawang suporta,” said Cansino.
“Hanggang sa muli, UST,” he added.
Yesterday afternoon, sports website Tiebreaker Times reported that Cansino, quoting multiple sources, is headed to University of the Philippines after making his verbal commitment to the school in a meeting.
Cansino has reportedly secured his release papers from UST.
One thing that Cansino has assured, he will bring his A-game for the team that will get his services like what he did to the Tigers.
“Sa lilipatan ko, pinapangako ko na kung paano ko binigay buong puso at pagkatao ko sa UST ganun din ako makukuha ninyo — kung ano yung natutunan ko hindi ko iiwan at dadalhin ko,” said Cansino.