MANILA, Philippines – Jacob Cortez appears to be on his way to becoming San Beda’s veteran heading into the NCAA men’s basketball tournament for the 99 season, but he says there is still room for improvement.
Cortez was one of two Red Lions players who scored 14 points in the team’s 68-63 win over rival Letran at San Juan Arena on Friday.
“There’s still a lot to work on. Earlier I showed my weakness defensively, but it’s still a long season, so it’s something to develop on for me,” Cortez said.
The former UST player failed to contain his guard counterpart in Kurt Reyson, who scored 22 markers for Letran.
However, Cortez was on all sides of the floor with three boards, three assists, a steal and a block.
His stellar play gave the Red Lions a roaring 3-1 start to the season.
But all the glory was not his. Cortez also reiterated that confidence was a big reason for San Beda’s win over old rival Letran, who fell to a winless 0-4 record this season.
“Coach (Yuri Escueta) told me to trust my players more and take it easy, that’s what I did. Finally, Yuks (Andrada), Alex (Visser) and our free throws started going in, so it’s just confidence. I give them credit.”
Cortez’s leadership will be tested against a much stronger opponent on Sunday when the Red Lions take on Lyceum, who are undefeated in five games.