Mike Cortez

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Mike Cortez
No. 11 – Meralco Bolts
Position Point guard / Shooting guard
League PBA
Personal information
Born (1980-11-10) November 10, 1980 (age 34)
San Jose, California
Nationality American
Listed height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Listed weight 175 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High school Carson (Carson, California)
College De La Salle University
PBA draft 2003 Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Alaska Aces
Pro career 2003–present
Career history
2003–2008 Alaska Aces
2008–2010 San Miguel Beermen
2010 Air21 Express
2010–2012 Barangay Ginebra San Miguel
2012–2013 Air21 Express
2013–present Meralco Bolts
Career highlights and awards
  • All-Star (2003)
  • 2005–06 PBA Mythical Second Team
  • 2008–09 PBA Comeback Player of the Year
  • 2000 UAAP Rookie of the Year
  • 2000, 2002 UAAP Mythical Five
  • Two-time UAAP Champion

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.

Amateur career[edit]

In 2000, Cortez debuted for the De La Salle Green Archers. With him, veterans Ren-Ren Ritualo and later Mark Cardona, the Green Archers won two of the three UAAP titles from 2000-2002.

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.

Professional career[edit]

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.

He lost in the Rookie of the Year race to fellow point guard Jimmy Alapag of the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals.

By the 2004–05 PBA season, he was starting to increase his role as Alaska added young players such as Sonny Thoss, and veterans Reynel Hugnatan and Jeffrey Cariaso.

The next season, he 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.

He missed most of the 2006–07 PBA Philippine Cup following a season-ending injury in the third game of the conference.

On March 19, 2008, he was traded along with bigman Ken Bono to the Magnolia Beverage Masters (now renamed back to San Miguel Beermen) for L.A. Tenorio and Larry Fonacier.

He 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.

On June 11, 2010, he played his last game with Air21 as he was traded after that game for Ginebra's Billy Mamaril.

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.

On September 6, 2013, he was traded to Meralco Bolts in exchange for the rights of Asi Taulava, who at that time was coming off a successful campaign in the ASEAN Basketball League with San Miguel Beermen.[1]


  1. ^ http://www.spin.ph/sports/basketball/news/air21-express-acquire-taulava-from-meralco-in-exchange-for-cortez

External links[edit]

Preceded by
FEU's school colors Leo Avenido
UAAP Men's Basketball Rookie of the Year
Succeeded by
La Salle's school colors Mark Cardona