Ayo lauds Cansino’s ‘fighting spirit’ for playing through pain late in UST loss

CJ Cansino gave the UST faithful a bit of a scare on Wednesday.

UAAP Season 80’s Juniors MVP had to be taken out of action for a bit after landing awkwardly on his right foot with over four minutes remaining in their matchup against Adamson.

He stayed on the floor for about two minutes before being helped off the court and into the locker room by trainers.

“Medyo sumasakit yung Achilles. Siguro pagkabagsak nung paa ko, nasaktan siya,” Cansino explained. “Medyo masakit pero ‘di ko na ininda. May pinainom lang sakin. Nung una sobrang sakit pero bumaba naman tapos kinaya ko na.”

He alleviated concerns later by hitting the court once more with exactly two minutes to go to help the Tigers make a late push.

While UST ultimately fell in the end, Cansino — who still put up an impressive 17 points, 12 rebounds and six assists — said that his return wasn’t for nothing since he felt it was his duty to give the team what they needed in order try to score an important win.

“Kasi kailangan talaga ipanalo eh, so ‘di ko na iniisip yung mangyayari. Basta gusto ko lang manalo,” he bared.

The rookie’s resilience wasn’t lost on head coach Aldin Ayo, who praised his prized ward’s show of grit despite visibly struggling on defense for a bit.

“‘Di naman matatawaran yung fighting spirit nung batang yun. Hangga’t kaya nun, maglalaro yun. Kanina nga nung pinapa-drop ko, sabi sa’kin, ‘Coach, di ko kaya mag-drop kasi medyo masakit eh.’ Sabi ko sakit lang ‘yan eh. ‘Di naman delikado. Nag-konsulta ako sa PT namin. ‘Di naman delikado, ‘di naman career-threatening, so sabi ko just overcome it. Kailangan nating maglaro,” he said.

Both of them are positive that Cansino won’t have to miss any time, but they’re taking some precautions.

“’Di naman severe eh. Pero syempre masakit. Ni-retape lang yun tapos lalaban ulit. Mamaya ayos na yun. Siguro pahingahin ko sa Thursday. Friday baka mag-shooting-shooting lang yun para maging ready sa Saturday” said Ayo.

“‘Di pa alam ng PT namin pero bukas iche-check pa namin. Papa-xray siguro then titignan namin kung kaya. Pero feeling ko kaya naman,” Cansino remarked.

UST currently sits at 5-7 and will need to get past UP and Ateneo — and have a bit of luck on their side — to make it to the Final Four.

RELATED: MORE THAN JUST A ROOKIE | Why CJ Cansino is the real deal

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