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    'Clueless' Cortez takes business-like approach as trade talks swirl

    Aug 28, 2013

    VETERAN guard Mike Cortez of Air21 remains clueless on where he’s headed following reports he’s being dangled in a direct trade with Meralco for high-scoring guard and fellow La Salle alumni MacMac Cardona.

    Nonetheless, the 32-year-old Cortez said he totally understands professional basketball is simply a business.

    “Personally, I’ve been through that (trades) before. No one wants to be traded. But the PBA is a business. They look at it as a business so that’s the business side of the PBA,” Cortez told after the Express' 112-86 loss at the hands of league-leader Petron Blaze in Wednesday’s Governors Cup game at the Mall of Asia Arena.

    Cortez is playing his first full conference in an Express uniform since being traded by Barangay Ginebra. The deal, which took place midway in the Philippine Cup, reunited him with former college coach Franz Pumaren at Air21.

    As it is, Cortez said he just have to be professional amid talks he’ll be likely shipped to the Bolts anytime soon.

    “We still need to be professionals and come out and play every day and practice every day,” said the player known as `Cool Cat.’

    “Whatever happens, I don’t have any control over that. I don’t know what’s going on. I think it’s all rumors in the social media so I try not to be affected by it and try to be professional about it,” he added.

    Cortez is currently playing for his fourth team in the league since being selected as the first overall pick by Alaska in the 2003 rookie draft.

    Continue reading below ↓

    He played six seasons with the Aces from 2003 to 2008, before being dealt away to San Miguel Beer/Petron, where he suited up for three seasons. 

    He was traded to Air21 in 2010 and then shipped to Ginebra, which became his home till the early part of the All-Filipino conference this season.

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