MANILA, Philippines — Gilas Pilipinas youth star Jared Bahay has expressed his early commitment to University of the Philippines men’s basketball team.
The Fighting Maroons on Thursday announced the top-ranked high school player from Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu has selected UP for his college stint.
“I chose UP because of the good education they will provide and the lovely community they have. I believe they will help hone my skills to my fullest potential,” Bahay said.
The 5-foot-11 point guard led the Magis Eagles to the Cesafi season 22 juniors championship as a Grade 11 student. He was crowned as Season MVP and emerged as the no. 1 talent in NBTC’s annual rankings of the best junior players in the Philippines.
Bahay still has one more season left in high school before playing for UP in the UAAP Season 87 next year.
“I made an early decision to commit because I already want to know the system that coach Gold [Monteverde] runs so it will be easier for me to transition when I come in. UP presented a clearer plan that will benefit my future and family,” he said.
The 17-year-old, who averaged 17.5 points, 4.0 assists, and 3.8 rebounds for semifinalist SHS-Ateneo in the 2023 Smart-NBTC National Finals, will solidify the guard rotation of UP, which also features JD Cagulangan, Terrence Fortea, and Gerry Abadiano.
Bahay registered averages of 13.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.8 assists during the Fiba Under-16 Asian Championship 2022 and 9.0 points, 5.0 assists, and 3.5 rebounds in the Fiba Under-18 Asian Championship 2022.
UP coach Goldwin Monteverde is elated to have Bahay, who joins their recruiting coup that included La Salle-Greenhills’ Luis Pablo and Seven Gagate, Joshua Coronel, and 6-foot-8 Filipino-American Sean Alter.
“We’re excited to see how Jared can help the team, and, at the same time, how we can help him to continue to improve,” said Monteverde, who steered UP to back-to-back Finals appearances last year including a championship in Season 84.
“Of course, we’re happy to have these kinds of talents because here in UP, the mindset is to always get better,” he added.
Despite his early commitment, Bahay vows to keep his focus on the Magis Eagles under coach Rommel Rasmo in their title-retention bid in Cesafi later in the year.
“I will still give my all for SHS-Ateneo next season,” he said.
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