NCAA: Jacob Cortez misses out on award but has chance to win what matters most | Inquirer Sports

NCAA: Jacob Cortez misses out on award but has chance to win what matters most

/ 06:25 PM December 10, 2023

Jacob Cortez San Beda NCAA

San Beda guard Jacob Cortez.–MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines—Jacob Cortez has a special celebration of making a call sign every time he hits a shot from long distance in the clutch.

“I saw it on Instagram and I don’t know if you guys watch the NFL but Shannon Sharpe, has this gesture that if you need it, call for help,” a beaming Cortez told on Sunday.


And why wouldn’t he be smiling? After all, he and the Lions just survived an absolute war in Game 2 of the NCAA Season 99 Finals, 71-65, to force a title decider next week.


But that smile quickly turned into a hyper-focused gaze when asked about his exclusion from the statistics-based Mythical Five bannered by Mapua’s Clint Escamis, who won Rookie of the Year and MVP at the same time.

When the question “did it get to you?” finished, the third-year guard immediately affirmed and made his thoughts known.

“Yes. It got to me personally. I thought I was a part of it. Me, my peers and everyone said that I may not have won an award but next week I have a chance,” said Cortez, who was a big reason for the Lions’ second-round surge and Finals run.

Jacob Cortez San Beda NCAA Season 99

Jacob Cortez.–MARLO CUETO/

That “award” he referred to was, of course, the ultimate one which is the championship and that title may also come with a Finals MVP plum if the stars align for the former University of Santo Tomas player.

“[I’m] super motivated, I’d say and not only this time but the whole season because they were calling us a rebuilding team. Nobody thought we’d be in the Finals forcing a Game 3 but we kept our circle small. We don’t listen to anyone not in our circle and I think we did a good job with that.”

Cortez responded exactly how a player with a chip on his shoulder would compete as he proved the naysayers wrong by delivering a near double-double of 21 points and nine rebounds.


The son of La Salle legend, Mike, sank three triples, including two in the payoff period to keep the Cardinals at bay and bounce back after a lackluster outing in a 68-63 loss in Game 1 on Wednesday.

“We played soft in Game 1 so while watching the film, we were motivated to play Game 2 like we belong in the Finals. Good thing we played that way and hopefully we play even better in Game 3.”

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Game 3 is on Sunday at Araneta Coliseum.

TAGS: Mapua Cardinals, NCAA Season 99, San Beda Red Lions

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