Bahay, Cebuano high school basketball star, to play for UP Fighting Maroons
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebuano champion point guard Jared Bahay promises to bring in not just his elite basketball skills, but his leadership and competitiveness to the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons.
This was after the Grade 11 student of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS AdC) officially announced his commitment to the Fighting Maroons men’s basketball team in a press conference on Thursday, March 30, at the UP Cebu Campus.
He was joined by his family along with UP Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Louise Jashil Sonido, UP Fighting Maroons basketball program head Bo Perasol, UP Fighting Maroons head coach Goldwyn Montverde, and his recruiter Patrick “Pato” Gregorio of MVP Sports.
“As a point guard, I need to bring my leadership to the team and also my skills. I just want to thank everyone, Coach Bo, coach Goldwyn for flying here in Cebu to welcome me to UP. I can guarantee everyone that I can get not just a championship, but championships for UP,” Bahay confidently said.
PH’s No. 1 high school basketball player
Bahay is currently the No. 1 high school basketball player in the Philippines. He recently played in the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) National Finals in Manila.
He averaged 17.5 points per game in their campaign that was cut short by the National University-Nazareth (NUN) Bullpups, which is headed by another Cebuano star Reinhard Jumamoy who also made an early commitment to the NU Bulldogs.
READ: Magis Eagles exit NBTC natl. finals vs. NU-Nazareth Bullpups in grueling 2 OT semifinals loss
“Maganda ang UP, all of the players sa UP, puro Bisaya, so parang madali kaming nagkakaintindihan. Maganda ang system ng UP,” said Bahay who is a mainstay of the Batang Gilas program.
(UP is great, all of the players in UP, are mostly Bisaya, so we can easily understand each other. The UP system is also great.)
One reason to choose UP
“I chose UP not only because of its basketball program. UP has quality education and my goal in college is to graduate, which is also one of my family’s goals for me. Sabi nila (According to) Tito Pato (Gregorio) and coach Bo, UP isn’t just a team, but a family,” he said.
With a chip on his shoulder, Bahay vows to train harder to become better.
In fact, Bahay already appeared in training sessions with the Fighting Maroons in Manila where he was allowed to join scrimmages.
When asked if he feels pressure, Bahay shrugged it off and said that he would work hard to improve.
“There’s no pressure at all. I’m gonna work everything that I want to work on. So, walang pressure kasi alam kong makakaya ko lahat (there is no pressure because I know I can take it all),” said Bahay.
READ: La Salle Greenhills standouts commit to UP Fighting Maroons
Years to convince Bahay
For Gregorio, it took them a while to convince Bahay to join the Fighting Maroons, but in the end, it was all worth the back and forth plane travels from Manila to Cebu and vice versa.
“It took us so many years to talk and convince Jared and his family to consider playing for UP. Because in UP, it’s not just the basketball, it’s a family. I can assure Jared and his family that this is a relationship that lasts forever. It’s a sincere statement that we are committed to this. He wants to enroll for a very good program and he wants to play in the number one team in the UAAP,” said Gregorio.
“Salamat sa tiwala (Thank you for the trust), as I’ve said, we’re one family. Jared, you made a very good decision, we won’t let you down because we know you won’t let us down. You choose a very good coach, supported by a very good project director. So I think it’s a win-win situation for us,” he said.
Boost to UP team
For Montverde, he is already anticipating Bahay’s presence as a huge boost for the team in the UAAP Season 87.
“Definitely his presence especially in Season 87 is a big boost for the team. We’re very excited to have you as part of the team,” said Montverde.
UP isn’t new in recruiting Cebuano top-caliber players. The most notable Cebuano they’ve recruited is Carl Tamayo who is now playing in the Korea Basketball League.
Other Cebuanos that suited up for UP are Janjan Jaboneta and Johncork Cabahug.
Amidst the excitement, Bahay still has a playing year left with the SHS-AdC Magis Eagles in Cesafi.
READ: UAAP: Fil-Am big man Sean Alter joins UP Fighting Maroons
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