In an unprecedented move, the National University Bulldogs have secured the commitment of 23 for 2023 Gilas Cadet Troy Rike. The announcement was made on Thursday evening by Rike himself.
The 6-foot-7 Rike played for Wake Forest University from 2014-18 as a walk-on. He only played a total of 31 minutes during his time as a Demon Deacon.
The San Francisco, California-born Fil-Am arrived in the country last May 28 and played two games for the Gilas Cadets in the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup, presented by Chooks-to-Go. He averaged 8.5 ppg in those games.
Looking to familiarize himself more with the Philippine-style of play, he decided to join NU and play in the UAAP.
“The most important thing for me is to get as many game reps as I can over here, to get accustomed to the Filipino style of play. It is a little bit different here,” Rike, who was part of the Gilas pool in the third window, shared.
“It was always a dream of mine to play over here. I was a walk on at Wake and now I’m playing.”
In NU, he will beef up a loaded frontcourt that includes Senegalese student-athlete Issa Gaye, senior Matthew Aquino, sophomore Jonas Tibayan, and fellow Californian Manny Mangayao. He will also get to play alongside with fellow cadet Joshua Sinclair.
The 22-year-old has enrolled in the National University’s masters program.
With this, Rike is automatically eligible for the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament as this is not considered a transfer since he already holds a collegiate degree.
Moreover, the UAAP accepts student-athletes who are taking their masterals. Rike, however, will have just one playing year remaining as he already played four seasons with Wake Forest.