Jacob Cortez leaves San Beda, headed to UAAP

Jacob Cortez leaves San Beda, says he is headed to UAAP

/ 04:44 PM January 11, 2024

San Beda Jacob Cortez UAAP NCAA

Jacob Cortez is moving from San Beda to a UAAP team. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Jacob Cortez bid San Beda University goodbye after their NCAA Season 99 triumph last December as he looks to take his act to the UAAP.

After admitting that he was getting offers from other schools, Cortez on Thursday announced that he was leaving the Red Lions and bared that he plans to compete in the UAAP although he didn’t disclose which team.

“With great difficulty, I have decided that my time as a Red Lion is closing, and would like to officially announce that I will not be playing for San Beda University in their upcoming season. Challenging, improving, and growing is always my goal, and so I have decided that to achieve this, I need to get out of my comfort zone. With that, I plan to compete in the UAAP,” wrote Cortez in a Facebook post.

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Cortez played three seasons in San Beda and will sit out for one-year residency wherever UAAP school he decides to go.

READ: NCAA: Yuri Escueta, San Beda prepared if Jacob Cortez leaves

The second-generation guard, who is the son of former La Salle star and PBA player Mike Cortez, expressed his gratitude to San Beda, saying that he had “the best time” with the Red Lions.

“From playing as a rookie fresh out of high school in an isolating yet invigorating bubble season to helping bring back the crown where it belongs after many have counted San Beda out. Still, the most unforgettable part of the past couple of years has been all of you,” the younger Cortez said. “My teammates, coaches, managers, basketball staff members, classmates, teachers, and the Red Army. Saying thank you is not enough to show my gratitude toward them but I will say it, anyway. Thank you all!”

Just shorty after winning the NCAA title, Cortez revealed that he received offers from other schools including the UAAP champions De La Salle Green Archers.

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Interestingly, La Salle champion coach Topex Robinson had a cryptic tweet of red and green hearts emoji on X hour after Cortez’s announcement.

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In a previous interview, Escueta said the Red Lions are prepared to defend their title next season if Cortez leaves.

Cortez, who averaged 15.39 points, 3.56 rebounds, 3.44 assists, and 1.17 steals in the NCAA Season 99, played a vital role for San Beda in the Final Four to overcome the twice-to-beat Lyceum before pulling off a series comeback in the Finals to beat Mapua, led by MVP Clint Escamis.

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TAGS: NCAA Season 99, San Beda Red Lions, UAAP men's basketball

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