Friday, September 14, 2012

Air 21 Wants Mike Cortez, Said Pumaren

AKTV/Paul Ryan Tan
As the Cool Cat of the De La Salle Green Archers, Mike Cortez spent some of his best years on the basketball court playing for coach Franz Pumaren.
These days, the Air 21 coach couldn’t help but dream about being reunited with his former star point guard, who now plies his wares at Ginebra.
“It will be good if we have a reunion of sorts,” Pumaren told InterAKTV in a telephone interview. “Besides, we badly need a dependable point guard.”
Air 21 has embarked on a massive buildup in the offseason that saw the team welcoming Noy Baclao, Rob Reyes, KG Canaleta, and John Wilson into its fold. It also signed rookies Yousef Taha and Simon Atkins, another former La Salle player.
Ginebra has also seen some radical changes in its lineup, highlighted by the acquisition of star point guard LA Tenorio, whose entry is expected to cut Cortez’s minutes. Apart from those two players, Jayjay Helterbrand and Rob Labagala are also expected to man the point for Ginebra.
Cortez had a witty reply when informed about his former coach’s interest in his services: “Might as well bring in Mac Cardona, Ren-Ren Ritualo and the other members of the La Salle champion squad in Air 21.”
Cardona plays for Meralco, while Ritualo is already with the Express.
Turning serious, Cortez said isn’t looking to leave Ginebra. “I’m happy with where I am now. I’m at the stage of my career where my focus is geared towards winning a championship,” he said.
“Management did a great job getting good players for our squad.”
He acknowledged, however, that staying with Ginebra is not just up to him
“I leave it all up to them what happens in my career. All I want to do is play for whichever team I am with. That’s something you don’t have control of.”


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