Clutch Jacob Cortez gets last NCAA Player of the Week nod

Third year ace Jacob Cortez has rediscovered his touch just in time in San Beda University's Final Four campaign in the NCAA Season 99 men's basketball tournament, dropping crucial outings in their last two elimination round games.

By doing so, Cortez has been hailed the last Collegiate Press Corps NCAA Player of the Week while also emerging as the third overall and second straight Red Lion to cop the weekly honors.

The 5-foot-11 Cortez came alive in the dying moments of their crucial win against eventual Final Four foe Lyceum of the Philippines University and during their escape against rival Colegio de San Juan de Letran last week.

Against the Pirates, he dropped 16 points highlighted by six crucial points in the final seconds and laced with seven assists, four rebounds and three steals in their 74-56 stunner.

He then followed it up with another clutch outing against the defending champions last Friday, closing the match with a personal 5-0 run to deny the Knights' fightback. He tallied 17 markers, three dimes, two boards, and one swat to lead their 77-68 escape act.

Despite the rivalry game against Letran being a non-bearing one, Cortez said they still went all out in a bid to build some momentum for the Final Four, where they’re up for a twice-to-win disadvantage.

"We play every game to win and may sinasabi na rest your starters but we are trying to build momentum going into the Final Four since hindi na kami twice-to-beat, twice-to-win na kami," Cortez said.

"I think after this win, nandiyan ‘yung morale namin, nandiyan ‘yung confidence namin."

(We play every game to win and some are saying to rest the starters but we are trying to build momentum going into the Final Four since we're not twice-to-beat, we're twice-to-win. I think after this win, our morale is there, our confidence is there.)

The second generation baller edged out teammate Yukien Andrada as well as Jielo Razon of Perpetual and Enoch Valdez of Lyceum for the weekly honors presented by San Miguel Corporation and backed by minor sponsors Discovery Suites and Jockey.

—JKC, GMA Integrated News

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