SAN Beda has secured a commitment from promising young Cebuano cager John Bryle Bahio of University of Southern Philippines Foundation to play for the Red Lions in the NCAA in college.
Bahio was the the Baby Panthers’ prized player in last season’s Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) campaign in which he became part of the Mythical Team along with MVP Janjan Jaboneta, Joshua Sinclair, John Escalona, and Joshua Flores.
Several Manila-based schools such as Far Eastern University and even reigning Cesafi champion Southwestern University sent feelers about their interest in the 16-year-old kid who already stands at 6-foot-3.
In the end, Bahio chose the reigning five-time NCAA champions.
“I chose San Beda because aside from its basketball program, I can also get a good education there,” said Bahio in an interview on Thursday evening.
Bahio's impending arrival is set to cushion the departure of Andrei Caracut, the Red Cubs star who has committed to join the De La Salle Green Archers in the rival UAAP league.
San Beda team manager Jude Roque, who personally recruited Bahio, said he was happy to welcome the versatile cager to the Red Lions’ fold.
He added though, it will take a few more years before Bahio makes his mark in the NCAA.
“We like JB (Bahio). He will be a key player for us in two to three years. He might not be ready for the NCAA this year but next year, I think he can start making an impact for us,” Roque said.
Bahio is the latest young cager from the Queen City of the South to commit to moving to a Manila-based school, joining Ateneo de Cebu’s Zachy Huang who is bound to join University of Santo Tomas in the UAAP.
Jaboneta, meanwhile, is still undecided on what school to play for in college although reports has it that he’s been leaning toward joining the University of the Philippines Maroons.
Bahio admitted he still has a long way to go as far as getting himself ready for the college league, putting in additional work with the help of the Baby Panthers coach Joph Cleopas.
“I need to improve my speed and ball-handling skills especially since they told me they were going to utilize me at the 2, 3, and 4 positions,” said Bahio.