Even University of Santo Tomas super rookie CJ Cansino himself was surprised at how he tore his ACL in his left knee during their matchup against UP last November 10.
The 19-year-old was notably active and bouncing around before unceremoniously crashing to the floor in the second period without any contact on a fast break drive.
“Hindi eh, kasi bago ‘yung injury sobrang hyper ko. Feel ko okay lang ako, wala akong nararamdaman na kahit ano. ‘Di ko rin alam na bibigay tuhod ko, non-contact,” he said on Wednesday.
He was quick to accept his newfound reality, though, and is now focused on staying optimistic as he gets ready for his surgery next Monday at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Taguig.
“Tanggap ko naman na na-injure talaga ako eh kasi kasama [yan]sa basketball. Magiging positive lang ako kasi mahal ko talaga ang basketball eh.”
This isn’t Cansino’s first major injury in his young career. Before his MVP season with the Tiger Cubs in Season 80, he was out recovering from a groin injury for eight months — the same time that he’ll be out of action during his period.
That means he knows how to bide his time and be patient as he works his way back into health.
“Sasagarin ko na ang eight months para sure na malakas na talaga,” he said.
“Nakita ko rin ‘yung timeline kung hanggang saan ako makakabalik. May two months pa ko. Alam ko naman tutulungan ako nila coach pagbalik ko. ‘Di naman ako nap-pressure [bumalik agad],” Cansino added.
This year’s frontrunner for the Rookie of the Year award doesn’t have any regrets about his season-ending injury, too, and was even thankful that he got to flash his wares immediately as a freshman.
“Grabe. Kung out of 10, 10 talaga. As a rookie, ‘di ko rin expected na ganito ako makakalaro. Siguro thankful ako kina God and kina coach na binigay ako ng chance,” he remarked.
Cansino blossomed as UST’s best player on the floor in Season 81 afters scoring 12.8 points per game in 13 contests. He also paced the Tigers in rebounding (10.3) and assists (3.6) and had the best shooting marks from the field (43.6 percent) and from downtown (36.8).
The best part is that he’s not stopping there. Once he fully recovers, Cansino bared that he’ll hit the weight room in order to stay more durable in the future.
“Defense talaga, tsaka papalaki ako ng katawan. Banggaan talaga ng katawan kapag sa defense,” he bared.