Chloe Cortez easily had the best televised game of her young career after exploding for 17 points with 5 blocks in Generika’s win over Standard Insurance-Navy in the PSL All-Filipino Conference last Tuesday.
Delivering crucial stops on both offense and defense for the Lifesavers, Cortez, a rookie in the semi-pro ranks, immediately made her presence felt for coach Francis Vicente.
The secret? Simply think of it as just another game.
“I felt calm pero syempre hindi ko matago yung excitement ko bilang first time ko mag play sa semi pro league,” she told FOX Sports.
“Iniisip ko na lang na wala tong pinagkaiba sa mga ibang games na nalaro ko. Hindi naman nawawala yung kaba, mas nakakakaba if hindi ka kinakabahan. Ang weird pakinggan pero wala lang talaga akong iniisip tuwing game. I don’t dwell on errors, bawi lang agad. Kailangan namin ibuhos lahat kasi pinag practisan namin (yun).”
Helping matters for Cortez is the fact that she is playing with some of her UST teammates at Generika, giving the atmosphere a lot more familiarity and chemistry.
She said it was never planned, but after a disappointing season that saw them miss the UAAP Final Four anew, the Golden Tigresses were approached by their team manager, Mike Talavera, if they wanted to try the PSL out.
Now teaming up with Ria Meneses, Rica Rivera and Alex Cabanos, Cortez believes they will learn a lot from Vicente that they can take into their Season 79 campaign next year.
“No regrets naman kasi sobrang naeenjoy namin yung company ng isa’t isa. Lahat excited na may bago silang kasama mag laro and well guided kami ng mga veterans sa team namin,” she said.
“Hindi naman po mahirap mag adjust kay Coach Francis kasi siya rin po mismo nag aadjust for us and mostly rin ng coaching staff namin are very welcoming and supportive,” she added. “Coach Francis always reminds us na confidence is key and syempre para sa mga naniniwala samin.”
Asked what could be expected of her in the PSL, she jokingly said: “Sa ngayon, hindi ko rin alam ieexpect ko sa sarili ko, so surprise nalang. Siguro more confident and driven na Chloe. Yun lang.” — By Joyce Palad