|No. 11 – Meralco Bolts|
|Position||Point guard / Shooting guard|
November 10, 1980 |
San Jose, California
|Listed height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Listed weight||175 lb (79 kg)|
|High school||Carson (Carson, California)|
|College||De La Salle University|
|PBA draft||2003 Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall|
|Selected by the Alaska Aces|
|Pro playing career||2003–present|
|2008–2010||San Miguel Beermen|
|2010–2012||Barangay Ginebra San Miguel|
|Career highlights and awards|
Mike Cortez (born November 10, 1980) is an American professional basketball player who plays for the Meralco Bolts in the Philippine Basketball Association. Cortez gained prominence in the amateur ranks for the De La Salle Green Archers in the UAAP and the ICTSI Archers in the Philippine Basketball League. In 2003, he was the first overall pick of Alaska Aces in the Annual PBA Rookie Draft.
He also played in the PBL for the ICTSI Archers, a team composed mostly of DLSU players alongside then University of the East star James Yap. With the two playing together, ICTSI almost won a PBL title in 2001 only to be defeated by the veteran-laiden Shark Energy Drink.
By 2002, Cortez's performance had quickly led to him being considered the top prospect for the PBA. He was included in the mythical 5 in the 2000 and 2002 UAAP season.
After the 2002 UAAP season, Cortez applied for the PBA Draft and was quickly drafted by the Alaska Aces as the top overall pick. By then, he was considered as the successor to Johnny Abarrientos as the team's next big star at the point guard position.
However, he struggled in his first season in the pros with inconsistent performances due to Tim Cone's triangle offense system, and the emphasis on Ali Peek, Don Allado and fellow rookie Brandon Cablay. Despite this development, he was a member of the 2003 PBA Invitational Champions defeating the Coca-Cola Tigers.
The next season, Cortez played probably his best season in the league, playing in a consistent level while forming a two-man tandem with Willie Miller as Alaska almost went to the PBA Philippine Cup finals, but they lost to the eventual champion Purefoods Chunkee Giants 4-3.
Cortez missed most of the 2006–07 PBA Philippine Cup following a season-ending injury in the third game of the conference.
Mike Cortez received the Comeback Player of the Year award for his role in the 2009 PBA Fiesta Conference title of the San Miguel Beermen. His second conference title and third overall in the PBA.
Although he helped Alaska and San Miguel win a single title each, the Cool Cat did not win a crown with the Barangay Ginebra. But he recorded his first triple-double in his pro career with the Kings on Game 3 of the 2012 PBA Commissioner's Cup Quarterfinals against B-Meg Llamados when he registered 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists earning Best Player of the Game honors.
On November 7, 2012, he was traded back to the Express, in exchange for rookie Yousef Taha, where he reunited with coach Franz Pumaren, Ren-ren Ritualo and Cholo Villanueva — all members of the 2001 La Salle "four-peat" squad.
|UAAP Men's Basketball Rookie of the Year