CJ Cansino set to miss UAAP Season 85 due to knee surgery

CJ Cansino will not be with the Fighting Maroons the whole UAAP Season 85. (Slam Philippines Facebook page)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons will be missing a key piece in their bid for a back-to-back championship in the upcoming UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball tournament.

CJ Cansino, one of the veteran superstars of the team, is reported to miss the whole UAAP Season 85 season after undergoing a knee operation several days ago.

The former University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers shooting guard was listed as questionable in the grand finals against the Ateneo Blue Eagles after hurting his right knee during the last game of the elimination phase.

Despite nursing a knee injury, Cansino opted to play during the pivotal do-or-die Game 3 of the finals and let his presence felt after sinking the game-tying three-point bomb with 48 seconds left in the game that forced an overtime period.

Cansino was still under minutes restriction during Game 3 and wasn’t able to play his usual time but UP head coach Goldwin Monteverde chose to gamble and put him in the most crucial stretch of the final canto.

The move paid off as the six-foot-two guard was one of the main reasons for UP’s huge championship run that ended their 36-year title drought.

Without Cansino in the active official roster for the upcoming season, coach Monteverde will be looking to bank on his remaining stars and will also be without leader Ricci Rivero after already playing out his final eligible year with the Fighting Maroons.

Key hold-overs from their championship team are Joel Cagulangan, Ilonggo guard Gerry Abadiano, James Spencer, Harold Alarcon, Terrence Fortea, and Carl Tamayo.

The Fighting Maroons are also yet to announce if mythical five member and athletic small forward Zavier Lucero will be returning and playing another year.

This UAAP Season 85 is already Cansino’s final eligible playing year but will have the chance to do it again with the Fighting Maroons if he will extend one more year for Season 86.