Jared Bahay, the no. 1 high school basketball player in the Philippines, officially committed to University of the Philippines on Thursday.
The 17-year-old point guard led Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu to the CESAFI Season 22 juniors championship as a Grade 11 student and was named Season MVP.
He was also hailed as the top talent in NBTC’s rankings of the best high school players in the country.
Bahay revealed his reasons for choosing UP over other universities.
“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,” said Bahay, who got the blessing of Ateneo de Cebu president Rev. Fr. Michael Ignacio Pineda, SJ on Wednesday.
Bahay, who will still finish his Grade 12 year with the Magis Eagles, made the decision to commit early so that he can learn the system of coach Gold Monteverde and make a smooth transition to 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 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,” said Bahay, who will be part of UP’s overseas trainings this year.
The 5-foot-11 Gilas Pilipinas Youth standout will be a valuable addition to UP’s guard rotation as JD Cagulangan finishes his collegiate career in Season 86.
Bahay normed 17.5 points, 4.0 assists, and 3.8 rebounds for semifinalist SHS-Ateneo in the 2023 Smart-NBTC National Finals.
He also recorded impressive numbers in the FIBA Under-16 and Under-18 Asian Championships, averaging 13.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.8 assists and 9.0 points, 5.0 assists, and 3.5 rebounds, respectively.
He will join a backcourt that already has the likes of Gerry Abadiano and Terrence Fortea.