JARED Bahay and Reinhard Jumamoy put up amazing games for their respective sides to set up a colossal clash in the Division 1 Fearless Four of the 2023 Smart-NBTC National Finals presented by SM.
Bahay, the top-ranked high school player in the country, erupted for 31 points to propel Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Landmasters to a commanding 90-75 win over Mapua, while no. 3 player Jumamoy tallied a near-quadruple-double performance to lead NU Nazareth School to a decisive 94-52 blowout on Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The 5-foot-9 Bahay was scorching hot, drilling eight treys on top of three assists and three steals as the Magis Eagles shot 14-of-26 from distance for a blazing 54-percent clip.
“I’m just thankful. I just asked for guidance from Him to be able to play this game. It’s sweet to help our team return to the Fearless Four,” he said, keeping his team’s quest for a third NBTC crown alive after winning it all in 2012 and 2015.
But it’s not Bahay alone, with Michael Asoro nailing five of those treys for his 20 points and Raffy Celis unfurling a double-double of 17 points and 10 boards for SHS-Ateneo.
Jumamoy, meanwhile, nabbed a rare triple-double with 27 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds, and nine steals to keep the Bullpups’ three-peat quest alive.
“I just trusted my teammates,” said the NBTC All-Star. “We did not expect this big win, but we just stuck to our game plan and we were able to stop Rhyle [Melencio].”
SHS-Ateneo and NUNS collide in the main game at 6:30 p.m., followed by the semis duel between Fil-Nation Select-USA and UST at 5 p.m. in this tourney backed by Smart, SM, Strong Realty and Development Corp., Under Armour, and Molten.
Fil-Nation ended Batang Tiaong’s Cinderella run with a 91-79 beatdown behind Jason Mandaquit’s 31 points built on four triples.
Dasean Brodie got 17 points and six rebounds, and Caelum Harris had 12 points and six boards for the last international team standing in Division 1 while also surviving Vhoris Marasigan’s 31 for Batang Tiaong.
UST, on the other hand, nosed out Toronto, 66-65, after Charles Bucsit made two of his three free throws with 0.5 seconds on the clock off of a Kobe Tablate foul.
The Fil-Canadians looked well on their way to a win after Michael Ramos’ go-ahead three with 5.8 left, but the Tiger Cubs got one last chance when Tablate was whistled for a foul on a shooting Bucsit.
Bucsit’s charities capped off his 16-point outing, as Arjay Pantaleon and James Jumao-as chimed in 12 apiece in this biggest grassroots event also supported by Tecno, Regent, Rebisco, Jollibee, San Miguel Corp., Maynilad, Rebel Sports Pilipinas, MNL Kingpin, Gatorade, Swish App, Victory Liner, Jasper Jean, Darlington, Exped, Coach E Basketball School, Lighthouse Events, and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
All games will be livestreamed on Facebook on the NBTC, Smart Sports, and Puso Pilipinas pages.