Bo Perasol acknowledged that University of the Philippines scored with the acquisition of CJ Cansino after leaving University of Santo Tomas. Especially due to the three-plus decades of championship drought.
Cansino, the charismatic 6-foot-2 guard who was unceremoniously kicked out of the University of Santo Tomas men's basketball team, committed to UP on Friday as he joins the boatload of recruits joining Diliman.
"CJ will be a great addition to ensuring the sustainability of the program, especially with possibly just one player left from last season playing in Season 84," he said. "I will personally help him make the transition to being a Fighting Maroon. CJ will definitely enjoy his stay in UP."
Cansino was one of the most sought after recruits since his high school graduation in UST, where he won the UAAP Season 80 juniors MVP.
He decided to stay in Espana and played two years there, averaging 5.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.9 assists last UAAP Season 82 where the Growling Tigers made it all the way to the finals.
But with the sudden turn of events leaving him with no home, he found one in UP.
“Unang-una sa lahat, UST is my dream school kaya nalulungkot talaga ako sa nangyari. Hinding-hindi ko makakalimutan ang UST and thankful ako sa kanila na binigyan nila ako ng opportunity, pero I need to move on,” Cansino said.
“Noong natanggap ko na na hindi na ako pwede sa UST, marami po akong kinausap and kinonsulta. Ang naging pakiramdam ko po ay mas bagay talaga ako sa UP, mas comfortable ako sa UP,” he added.
That's just music to the ears of Fighting Maroons team manager Atty. Agaton Uvero, who bared that UP had its sights set on Cansino since two years ago after graduating from UST High.
"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," he said.
"We are happy and lucky that he chose to be part of the Fighting Maroons this time."
Cansino will have two playing years left in UP and can suit up for the seniors team starting in UAAP Season 84.
He joins bluechip rookies Carl Tamayo, Gerry Abadiano, and RC Calimag, as well as transferees Maodo Malick Diouf and Joel Cagulangan as the new faces in the Fighting Maroons.
His UP arrival gives the team a perfect replacement for Ricci Rivero, who will be playing his final college season, and hopefully timed with the return of brothers Juan and Javi Gomez de Liano.
This story originally appeared on Spin.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.