CJ Cansino quickly moved on and chose the University of the Philippines to be his new home. This was after the sudden departure of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 80 Juniors Most Valuable Player from the University of Santo Tomas.
Cansino met with UP Men’s Basketball Team (UPMBT) manager Atty. Agaton Uvero and head coach Bo Perasol on August 21, 2020. Known for his speed, strength and sweet shooting, the 6-foot-2 guard expressed his interest to join the squad based in Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines.
“We wanted him to play for UP when he graduated from UST high school two years ago but his heart has always been with UST,” Uvero said. “We are happy and lucky that he chose to be part of the Fighting Maroons this time.”
As a UST Tiger Cub, Cansino won the UAAP Season 80 juniors Most Valuable Player award in 2018. He bested Dave Ildefonso, SJ Belangel, L-Jay Gonzales and Kai Sotto.
“Unang-una sa lahat (First of all), UST is my dream school kaya nalulungkot talaga ako sa nangyari (that is why I really feel sad about what happened),” Cansino said. “Hinding-hindi ko makakalimutan ang UST and thankful ako sa kanila na binigyan nila ako ng opportunity pero I need to move on (I will never forget UST and I am thankful to them for giving me an opportunity but I need to move on).”
“Noong natanggap ko na na hindi na ako pwede sa UST, marami po akong kinausap and kinonsulta (When I finally accepted that I will no longer be eligible for the UST, I talked and consulted many people),” Cansino continued. “Ang naging pakiramdam ko po ay mas bagay talaga ako sa UP. Mas comfortable ako sa UP (What I felt was that I am more suitable for UP. I am more comfortable with UP).”
Perasol welcomed Cansino’s decision to join the UP Fighting Maroons. The team’s head coach assured the incoming third-year guard that he will help him adjust to the new environment.
“CJ will be a great addition to ensuring the sustainability of the program, especially with possibly just one player left from last season playing for Season 84,” Perasol said. “I will personally help him make the transition to being a Fighting Maroon. CJ will definitely enjoy his stay in UP.”