MANILA, Philippines – University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tiger Cub CJ Cansino has all but bagged the Most Valuable Player award in the UAAP Season 80 juniors basketball based on the statistical points collated by Imperium Technology, the league’s sole basis for giving the coveted honor.
Despite UST falling hard in the second round with a 2-5 record to finish 7-7 overall, the 6-foot-1 forward kept up his strong play – leading the league in points scored (24.6 per game) and rebounds (12.9). Second and 3rd-place scorers Agem Miranda (17.4 points) and SJ Belangel (17.2 points) didn’t even come close. Gilas pool phenom Kai Sotto only came in second in rebounding (11.5 rebounds) though he stands a full foot taller than Cansino.
According to data from Imperium Technology, Cansino collected 88.4 statistical points (SPs), 18 SPs ahead of Sotto. This is actually down from the 100 SPs he had after the first round, but still a considerable lead over the pack.
With Adamson University (AdU) tied with UST at the end of the season, they will battle one more time on Saturday, February 17, to determine which gets the last Final 4 slot and face the third-seeded defending champion Far Eastern University (FEU) Baby Tamaraws in the stepladder semifinals format.
While Cansino may have bagged the coveted individual award, he has already said that he would prefer a Final 4 appearance for the UST community.
“Siyempre mas masaya ‘yung makapasok kami ng Final 4 kasi ‘yun talaga ‘yung goal naming lahat,” he said after the Cubs’ last game. “Kung MVP, para sa’kin ibig sabihin lang nun, ako lang 'yung masaya. Kung makakapasok kami ng Final 4, buong crowd… buong UST magiging masaya.”
(“Of course I’d be happier if we enter the Final 4 because that’s really the goal of everybody. If I win MVP, for me, that only means that I’m the only one happy. If we enter the Final 4, the whole crowd… the whole UST community would be happy.”) – Rappler.com