UAAP Basketball

Jacob Cortez raring to be part of La Salle’s championship system

Rob Andrew Dongiapon

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Jacob Cortez raring to be part of La Salle’s championship system

NEW RECRUIT. Jacob Cortez in action for the La Salle Green Archers.

Jacob Cortez Instagram page

Jacob Cortez, the son of former La Salle star Mike Cortez, seeks to help the Green Archers win a UAAP championship just like his father did

MANILA, Philippines – Jacob Cortez reached the NCAA pinnacle with the San Beda Red Lions. Now, he aims to conquer one more quest – to win the UAAP championship with the La Salle Green Archers.

The 21-year-old will be the Archers’ point guard of the future, having transferred to La Salle in January after leading the Red Lions to the NCAA Season 99 title

Now taking classes at La Salle, Cortez has been slowly integrating himself into the Archers’ system, which has already bore fruit with the UAAP Season 86 crown. 

“We know La Salle runs a championship system,” said Cortez. “I’m excited. Everyone here supports me, helps me to know the system, [and] I know it will take me a long time to know all of it. But I have a year or more here to learn before playing.”

Cortez played three seasons at San Beda, the first of which saw him relegated to the reserve list before NCAA Season 97. He then went on to carve himself a spot in the rotation, the starting lineup, and eventually became the team leader in the following two seasons. 

Cortez, long courted by La Salle, has been working closely with head coach Topex Robinson since his enrollment, integrating himself as one of the Archers’ cornerstones once his eligibility starts in Season 88. 

“So far, coach Topex has been very supportive to me. He teaches me a lot about the team and the culture on the court and off of it. Not only him, other coaches and my teammates as well are also there to guide me. They treat me well here,” he said. 

Cortez traces his roots to the green-and-white school, playing for La Salle Green Hills in his early high school years before he transferred to UST and San Beda. 

The second-generation player also drew great influence from his father, Mike Cortez, who won two titles with La Salle in 2000 and 2001.

As his surname remains synonymous with the Green Archers, the younger Cortez is steadfast in leaving his own mark on the school, not just for his team but also for his family.

“My family’s familiarity in La Salle has been a big help. My family has been really there behind me, supporting me, even when I was still in high school in La Salle (Green Hills). I know they are excited for me to hopefully finish (college) in La Salle,” Cortez said. 

Cortez is on track to play alongside La Salle mainstays Mike Phillips and Season 86 MVP Kevin Quiambao, if he opts to stay with the Green Archers after Season 87.

Cortez will also share the backcourt with former National University star Kean Baclaan, who is also eligible to play in Season 88. 

Unfazed by the star power the team already boasts, Cortez promised to continue the grind until he ultimately steps onto a UAAP court. 

“There are a lot of great players here that I’ll get to play with. I’m trying not to be satisfied. I’m keeping my routine. I’m working to keep in shape,” said Cortez. 

Packed with high expectations coming in, the “Cool Cub” is dead set of his vision – a UAAP title. 

“I came here simply to win, to win a championship with La Salle. One of my dreams is to win in the UAAP,” he said. 

“But yes, we’re a long way to go. Right now, it’s just about the grind.” –

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