TOP high school prospect Jared Bahay is the latest player to join a stacked rookie class for the UP Fighting Maroons.
The sought-after guard from Cebu confirmed his commitment to State U himself in a media statement released by the Maroons on Thursday.
"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," Bahay said in the statement.
"I made an early decision to commit because I already want to know the system that coach Gold [Monteverde] 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."
After playing for Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, Bahay was ranked at the top of the 2023 SMART-National Basketball Training Center's 24 (NBTC) best under-19 high school talents in the country.
He becomes the first non-UAAP and non-NCAA player to top the list, counting Kai Sotto and Encho Serrano among his predecessors.
Sources said Bahay was also recruited by Ateneo and other top UAAP teams.
By signing up for the Maroons, Bahay will be eligible to play in Season 87 where he will be joined by other top UP neophytes Luis Pablo (Ranked No. 2 by th NBTC) and Seven Gagate (Rank 5), both from La Salle Greenhills.
The skilled 5-foot-9 point guard played a major role in Batang Gilas' campaign at the 2022 FIBA U16 Asian Championship stint, where he averaged 13.2 points, five rebounds, and 4.8 assists in six games.