JASPER Rentoy was ready to make the jump last year as he already gave his commitment to St. Benilde.
But as ready as his mind is, the 6-foot-1 prospect's body just wouldn't cooperate as he packed his bags and returned to Australia.
"I was meant to go there and I feel like I was ready. Mentally, I was ready to leave home but I wasn't healthy enough to go yet," he said, playing with a fractured ankle in AusPinoy's foray in the NBTC last year.
"I actually played with a fractured ankle last year so I couldn't really do the things I'd like to do. I came back home, put my body on the line, sacrificed a lot just to prepare myself to see the results."
This time, though, Rentoy was back with a vengeance, playing at his best for the Fil-Aussies in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go NBTC League National Finals.
The 18-year-old court general averaged 23.7 points on a 43-percent shooting from the field, to go with 5.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.0 steals to be the undoubted leader for AusPinoy.
Unfortunately, his efforts weren't enough.
AusPinoy suffered a 78-45 waylaying at the hands of FilAm Sports USA in the Seeding Round, got stunned by Southern Philippines College-Cagayan de Oro, 69-67, in the Super 32 round, and fell to Holy Trinity College-General Santos, 68-66, in the Supreme 16 in the Division 2.
Still, that shouldn't diminish Rentoy's efforts to establish himself as one of the top guards in the national high school basketball championship, as well as earning one of the six slots allocated for international players to be part of the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Division 1 All-Star Game.
"I think if I was healthy last year, I could've opened up some more doors and opportunities, so I decided to bet on myself, wrap my own story, and now I'm here. To be here with the best of the best is a testament to my hardwork and I'm just happy to be there," he said.
Just like last year, schools are once again knocking on Rentoy's door.
But right now, he's letting everything settle down, plotting his next plan of attack before making his commitment.
"If anyone's willing to take me, for sure," he said. "Right now, I'm just playing it by ear. There's no solid offers. I heard some interest from some schools so I'll be visiting them and try out and we'll see how it goes."
"But I'm just enjoying my time in the Philippines. Whatever happens happens. I'm just gonna control what I can control and play the game I love, really."