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    Pain no barrier as 'Cool Cat' keys Air21 revival

    Mar 26, 2013
    “Nabawasan `yung pain, pero andun pa rin. Kaya coach (Franz Pumaren) exempts me from some drills in practices, tapos pag malayo pa 'yung game he will just let me rest,” says Air21 guard Mike Cortez. Jerome Ascano

    MIKE Cortez has been playing so well good of late that no one but his coach and his team know he’s been battling back spasms almost all conference long.

    But he is.

    The Air21 guard bared he’s been playing with a hurting back since early in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup which should explain why he had sub-par performances in some of the Express’ first few games.

    “I’ve been injured since our second game. I tried hard not to take any time off. I want to play well because we we’re having a losing streak then,” said Cortez.

    Of late, the 32-year-old playmaker however, had seen a sudden resurgence in his game as the Express picked up four wins in a row on the way to a Player of the Week citation for the six-foot Cortez.

    `The Cool Cat’ said he’s been undergoing therapy sessions to help heal the injury.

    “Nabawasan `yung pain, pero andun pa rin. Kaya coach (Franz Pumaren) exempts me from some drills in practices, tapos pag malayo pa 'yung game he will just let me rest,” added the former De La Salle superstar.

    “My patience and the support of my teammates are now paying off,” he added.

    Cortez, however, is not taking all the credit for the Express’ rise in the standings.

    “Our team is winning because of our defense. At saka si Mike (Dunigan) halimaw talaga. Siya ang nagdadala ng team. The way he plays is the way our team plays,” Cortez said of the Express’ young but talented import.

    Continue reading below ↓

    “Sa team alam na namin  `yung roles namin. Ngayon hindi na iba-iba ang starting five namin, defined na `yung roles namin,” he said.

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    “Nabawasan `yung pain, pero andun pa rin. Kaya coach (Franz Pumaren) exempts me from some drills in practices, tapos pag malayo pa 'yung game he will just let me rest,” says Air21 guard Mike Cortez. Jerome Ascano
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