|Image: Interaksyon TV|
Last Friday, the deal involving the Ginebra Gin Kings was approved by the PBA Board, which involves point guard Mike Cortez. With LA Tenorio's addition into the Ginebra lineup, Cortez got very few minutes of playing time. Head coach Siot Tanquincen is therefore taking the gamble to give up his talented and veteran point guard in exchange for a young big man, which many are considering as the team's project center - Yousef Taha. This is a step in the right direction for the Ginebra team, which was seen struggling during the early goings of the PBA Philippine Cup.
In an interview with head coact Siot Tanquincen following the confirmation of the trade deal, he had but nice words to say about the veteran point guard. "I have high respect for Mike," says coach Siot. "He's a talented player, but just like what he said in the interviews, he needs to play."
Cortez showed great game during his debut with the Air 21 Express, wherein he scored 24 points, grabbed six rebounds, and made six assists during 24 minutes of game time. Oddly enough, the rookie Taha that Ginebra acquired in exchange for Cortez did not step onto the court during their game versus Global Port, wherein the Gin Kings were victorious. But the crowd favorite got some help from Jay Jay Helterbrand who stepped up following Mike's absence in the bench.
Coach Siot applauded Helterbrand for his efforts during that night, noting "Jayjay [performed] better and he showed that [in the game versus GlobalPort".