CJ Cansino, Malick Diouf leave UP Fighting Maroons with pride, gratitude

UP Fighting Maroons' graduating players CJ Cansino and Malick Diouf.

UP Fighting Maroons’ graduating players CJ Cansino and Malick Diouf. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines—Graduating University of the Philippines swingmen CJ Cansino and Malick Diouf showed nothing but gratitude to the Fighting Maroons’ community after their collegiate careers wrapped up on Wednesday.

La Salle’s championship-sealing, 73-69 victory over UP in Game 3 of the UAAP Season 86 Finals marked the end of an era in Diliman as it served as Cansino and Diouf’s final collegiate games.

While it didn’t go the way Cansino expected it to go, he’s still thankful for the opportunity given by UP after he found himself at a crossroads in 2020 due to the UST Sorsogon bubble fiasco.

“The team gave its best but we fell short. That’s how life really is. This one’s not for us,” said the athletic forward after ending his collegiate run with five points and two rebounds.

“When you become champion, you bring it your whole life every day so I’m so thankful that I got a title even if it’s just one, for the UAAP.”

Graduating big man Diouf also gave nothing but love to the UP community despite falling short.

It must have stung the Season 85 MVP a bit more as he churned in a double-double of 21 points and 14 boards but to no avail.

“We fell short but that’s life but my career, I think, is good with UP because I learned a lot of things so thank you, UP,” said the Senegalese center.

Where both players would go is still up in the air but Cansino is optimistic that he would take whatever’s offered to him in the future.

“We’ll just wait for whatever opportunity comes our way and hopefully, whatever those may be, we’ll be grabbing it.”

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