UAAP: CJ Cansino says Ricci Rivero recruiting him among reasons he chose UP. What are the others?

Published August 24, 2020, 5:34 PM

by Carlo Anolin

CJ Cansino
University of Santo Tomas prized player CJ Cansino is set to transfer to University of the Philippines, coach Bo Perasol confirms. (UAAP)

Former University of Santo Tomas team captain CJ Cansino has many reasons why he chose University of the Philippines as next stop for his basketball career.

Cansino, known for being vocal that he doesn’t want to leave UST, was kicked out of the team due to “defiance of authority.”

This happened amid the team’s alleged unauthorized training bubble in Sorsogon, hometown of Tigers’ coach Aldin Ayo.

READ: UST Tigers coach Aldin Ayo breaks silence on CJ Cansino’s exit, training bubble; UST vows appropriate action, further probe on men’s basketball team training bubble

As much as he doesn’t want to, the 20-year-old Cansino said he was left with no choice but to move on and find another school that will accept him. UP wasted no time and swung its doors open for Cansino.

Seeking growth both personally and professionally as a player, Cansino ended up picking the Maroons for various reasons.

The former UAAP juniors MVP set three factors – academics, basketball program and players development – on choosing his next destination.

While all universities offer all these, Cansino chose the Diliman squad by trusting his “gut feeling.”

Speaking to Carmela Tunay’s “Anong Tunay?! show, the 20-year-old guard bared the same feeling he experienced when he decided to wear the black and gold jersey once more in the collegiate level.

Cansino, a product of the Tiger Cubs, the boys’ basketball team of UST, swore his loyalty to the university by committing to the Growling Tigers after a promising stint in the juniors’ division.

‘Yun ‘yung pumasok sa feeling ko nung time na kinausap ako ng UP. Parang gusto ko na dito maglaro,” he said.

New UP recruit CJ Cansino, center, with coach Bo Perasol and team manager Atty. Ags Uvero. (Handout photo)

But before UP coach Bo Perasol took action, the 6-foot-2 swingman admitted talking first to UAAP coaches Tab Baldwin of Ateneo, Franz Pumaren of Adamson and Far Eastern University’s Olsen Racela.

In the end, he experienced the familiar feeling with the Maroons.

“’Yung kausap ko yung UP, naalala ko ‘yung feeling na nag-decide ako na gusto kong mag-college sa UST. Parang same feeling na dito na talaga gusto ko maglaro.”

READ: Cansino grateful for collegiate stars who reached out after UST exit

Next, Cansino doesn’t want to waste time waiting for UST to take him back as well as spending more years on residency before playing for a season.

With the start of academic year via online classes looming, the new UP recruit initially planned to enroll with a school and reach at least the first semester of classes.

“Sabi ko nga, isang rason lang babalik ako kaso kailangan [lumipat] para sa career ko rin. Kasi kung hindi ako magde-decide lumipat, kung hihintayin ko pa ‘yung sorry na hindi naman natin alam kung darating ba, dalawang taon na ko magre-residence — isang year yun na masasayang na hindi ako makakapaglaro,” he explained. reported that Cansino, a former commerce student in UST who will take Sports Science in UP, was able to transfer in an instant because of the Varsity Athletic Admissions System (VAAS) offered by the College of Human Kinetics.

Lastly, Cansino gave credit to his friend on the Maroons’ side, Ricci Rivero, for being one of the first people who reached out to him upon hearing the news.

READ: How did fellow collegiate stars react to CJ Cansino’s UST exit? Check out this mock Twitter recruitment

Cansino said Rivero played a decisive role on why he chose UP as the two encountered almost the same experience with their previous schools.

Ricci Rivero
UP’s Ricci Rivero (UAAP)

Rivero, a former De La Salle standout, left the Taft-based squad in 2018 after a two-year stint. He was cut from the team alongside brother Prince and Brent Paraiso, who is now with the Tigers and also became friends with Cansino.

Coincidentally, Ayo previously took over La Salle before taking his coaching act to UST. Which means the two were once mentored by the same coach as well.

“Alam niya (Ricci) yung feeling kung ano yung feeling sakin. Nung ni-recruit niya ko sabi niya, ‘-J, pwede ka dito.’ Sabi ko, ‘Sige, tignan natin kung okay ako dyan,’ Cansino recalled.

“Siya (Ricci) talaga yung masasabi natin parang nag-recruit sakin para pumunta ng UP. Talagang yun yung masasabi mo na kapag may same situation kayo parang may connection,” he added.

READ: Cansino opens up dealing with anxiety amid pandemic, life in ‘bubble’: Wag natin gawing biro