MANILA, Philippines -- Stars of various NCAA and UAAP schools wasted no time in wooing CJ Cansino after it was revealed that he was set to leave University of Santo Tomas (UST).
Cansino, a former Juniors MVP with the Tiger Cubs, reportedly split with the Growling Tigers due to "personal reasons." UST head coach Aldin Ayo has yet to reply to a request for comment regarding the player's decision.
Almost immediately, other collegiate stars began recruiting Cansino to transfer to their respective schools. Colegio de San Juan de Letran's Fran Yu, the Finals MVP in the Knights' run to the NCAA Season 95 title, got the ball rolling with a simple message on Twitter:
De La Salle University's Aljun Melecio quickly replied, and Andrei Caracut added his two cents by giving Cansino a "virtual tour" of the La Salle Taft campus -- including the Enrique Razon Center where the Green Archers practice.
Evan Nelle, who earlier this year made his own widely-publicized transfer to La Salle, also came calling.
Juan Gomez de Liano and Ricci Rivero of the University of the Philippines made their own pitch as well.
Cansino had a simple reply to Gomez de Liano: "Basta babalik ka." The former Rookie of the Year is set to sit out the upcoming UAAP season to focus on the Philippine national team, but he still has two seasons left of eligibility with the Fighting Maroons.
National University (NU) team captain Shaun Ildefonso would not be left out.
Even members of defending UAAP champion Ateneo de Manila University made it known that they would welcome Cansino into the fold. SJ Belangel, whose performance in the Season 82 finals helped sink Cansino and the Tigers, reminded him of their days with the Philippine national youth team.
And Dave Ildefonso, who transferred to Ateneo from NU earlier this year, encouraged Cansino to join him as well. The two were among the contenders for Rookie of the Year honors in Season 81, before Ateneo center Ange Kouame eventually won the award.
But Shaun, Dave's older brother, got the last word in.
As a rookie, Cansino averaged 12.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. He even tallied a triple-double of 20 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists in a game against University of the East in Season 81.
Unfortunately for Cansino, he suffered an ACL injury in their final game. He still made it to the team in his sophomore season, but averaged just 6.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game while taking a backseat to Soulemane Chabi Yo, Rhenz Abando, and Mark Nonoy.
Regardless of where he transfers, Cansino will have to sit out a season of residency. If he goes to a UAAP school, he will have two seasons left to play, while he will still have three full years left if he opts for an NCAA school.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).