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Jared Bahay is NBTC’s top HS prospect

For the first time, a player from the province has been hailed as the best high school player in NBTC 24.

Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu’s Jared Bahay ranked first in the 2023 list of the most impressive under-19 talents in all of the Philippines. He’s the first non-UAAP and non-NCAA player to claim the top spot, following Adamson’s Encho Serrano, Ateneo’s Kai Sotto in back-to-back years, and San Beda’s Rhayyan Amsali.

The CESAFI Juniors MVP showed the way for the Season 22 champion Magis Eagles and also played for Gilas Pilipinas Youth in the 2022 FIBA Under-16 and Under-18 Asian Championships.

SHS-Ateneo teammate Raffy Celis (no. 21) joins the 5-foot-9 point guard in the final rankings, while the UAAP and NCAA count 13 and nine players, respectively, on the list.

LSGH forward Luis Pablo stands second, followed by Letran guard Andy Gemao (4) then another Greenie big in Seven Gagate (5). NSNU playmaker Rein Jumamoy is the highest-rated UAAP player at third.

Pablo, Jumamoy, and Gemao will join forces for Team Hustle in the 2023 Under Armour-All-Star Game on March 19 at the Mall of Asia Arena. They’ll be mentored by Cholo Villanueva and backstopped by Kristian Porter (6/Ateneo), Peter Rosillo (9/Adamson), Amiel Acido (11/Perpetual), Janrey Pasaol (13/FEU-D), Kobe Demisana (14/UPIS), SJ Moore (15/Arellano), Kieffer Alas (18/DLSZ), Andrei Dungo (20/San Beda), and Celis.

At the opposite end will be Team Heart with Willie Wilson calling the shots and Bahay and Gagate showing the way. They’ll be flanked by Rhyle Melencio (7/DLSZ), Matthew Rubico (8/LPU), Chris Hubilla (10/San Beda), Lebron Nieto (12/Ateneo), Jonathan Manalili (16/Letran), RJ Colonia (17/NSNU), Mark Llemit (19/UST), Veejay Pre (22/FEU-D), Mat Edding (23/Adamson), and Jonas Napalang (24/UPIS).

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Standouts from international and provincial teams during the tournament proper will also be added to the initial rosters for Team Hustle and Team Heart.

Prior to the Under Armour-NBTC All-Star Game, the finals of the Girls Have Game presented by Fil-Nation Select as well as the Slam Dunk Contest, Three-Point Shootout, and Skills Challenge will take place. The championship games for Divisions 1 and 2 of the 2023 Smart-NBTC National Finals, meanwhile, tip off after.

All games in the 2023 Smart-NBTC National Finals presented by SM, Strong Realty and Development Corp., Under Armour, and Molten; with Tecno, Regent, Rebel Sports Pilipinas, MNL Kingpin, Gatorade, Swish App, Victory Liner, Darlington, Coach E Basketball School, Lighthouse Events, and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas as sponsors will be livestreamed on Facebook on NBTC, Smart Sports, and Puso Pilipinas pages.

Catch the SMART NBTC National Finals from March 15 to 19, 2023 only on SMART Sports’ Facebook page.

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