Bahay decision to play for Ateneo instead of UP not a rushed move, says player’s mentor

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | January 28,2024 - 01:17 PM

Jared Bahay (left) and Dr. Rhoel Dejano pose for a photo during the former's official commitment to the Ateneo Blue Eagles. | photo from Dejano's Facebook page

Jared Bahay (left) and Dr. Rhoel Dejano pose for a photo during the former’s official commitment to the Ateneo Blue Eagles. | photo from Dejano’s Facebook page

CEBU CITY, Philippines — It wasn’t an overnight and rushed decision for Jared Bahay to change hearts for his collegiate team commitment.

It was revealed by his mentor, Dr. Rhoel Dejano, during Bahay’s official announcement of his commitment to the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP). 

READ: Jared Bahay chooses Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles

When Bahay decided to rethink UP commitment

In a presser last week, Dejano revealed that the 18-year-old No. 1 high school player in the country started to rethink his commitment to the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons in the latter part of the year. 

“As Jared was saying, during the latter part of the year, we went up to the mountain for some team building because of some circumstances of being on the brink of losing the championship,” said Dejano. 

Bahay and the rest of the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles had a struggle throughout their title retention bid in the Cesafi season, enduring three losses in the elimination round and losing a couple of games in the playoffs. 

They went on to beat their old rivals, the University of the Visayas (UV) Baby Green Lancers, 2-1, in their best-of-three finals series last December. 

READ: Blue Eagles coaches Tab Baldwin, Arespacochaga excited to work with Jared Bahay 

Solely Bahay’s decision

Dejano recounted the exact moment that Bahay asked him what if he weighed other options before fully committing to UP. 

“In the middle of the night, when everybody was sleeping during the team building, the atmosphere at that time was turning blue. Suddenly, he asked me if he was weighing the option of going to another school. I told him that I thought you were so bent on going to UP. But he said he tried to weigh things. I told him then you do it; let’s ask the consensus of coach Rommel (Rasmo) and the people around you. Let’s take it from there,” Dejano explained. 

“The decision itself solely came from him. Nobody coerced him, and nobody asked him to change his decision. Nobody directed him to go somewhere; it was really his decision. To make it really formal, he called up UP right before he flew to Dubai for Christmas break to tell them about his decision.”

ALSO READ: PBA: San Miguel not about to take Ginebra lightly

Bahay meets UP reps

Dejano revealed that Bahay called UP’s representatives before the latter flew to Dubai, UAE, to spend his Christmas break about his decision to decommit and weigh other options. 

Bahay also asked them to personally meet with them as formality and respect. 

“They understood his intentions, they said to give him time to think about it. The day after, there was an announcement on social media that they were letting him go. It somehow put a relief to Jared in decision making,” added Dejano.

“I want to emphasize that he wasn’t closing his doors to UP after their decision. But as things came out, he was released. That’s when things happened.”

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TAGS: Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles, Jared Bahay

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