The UP Fighting Maroons have secured the services of yet another blue-chip recruit, with top-ranked high school player Jared Bahay formalizing an early commitment to the program.
“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,” he said
The 5-foot-11 point guard led Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu to the CESAFI Season 22 juniors championship as a Grade 11 student. He was then hailed as Season MVP and the no. 1 talent in NBTC’s annual rankings of the best high school players in the Philippines.
Bahay will finish his high school career with the Magis Eagles before moving forward with the Fighting Maroons come UAAP Season 87.
“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 Gilas Pilipinas Youth standout will be a ready-made reinforcement for a guard rotation that already features JD Cagulangan, Terrence Fortea, and Gerry Abadiano. He normed 17.5 points, 4.0 assists, and 3.8 rebounds for semifinalist SHS-Ateneo in the 2023 Smart-NBTC National Finals, as well as 13.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.8 assists (FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship 2022) and 9.0 points, 5.0 assists, and 3.5 rebounds (FIBA Under-18 Asian Championship 2022) for the national team.
“Siyempre, 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 head coach Goldwin Monteverde.
With this, UP now has three of the NBTC’s top five HS players, as Luis Pablo (2) and Seven Gagate (5) earlier committed to the program, as well as Gilas Youth member Joshua Coronel and 6-foot-8 Fil-Am Sean Alter.
“Of course, we’re happy to have ganitong mga talent join us kasi tayo naman sa UP, the mindset is to always get better,” said Monteverde.
For now, however, Bahay remains laser-focused on continuing to show the way for the Rommel Rasmo-mentored Magis Eagles and their title defense in the CESAFI’s next season tipping off on August later in the year.
“Ibibigay ko pa rin po ang lahat ko para sa SHS-Ateneo next season,” he said.