SHS-Ateneo’s Bahay breaks domination of MetroManila-based players


SACRED Heart School (SHS)-Ateneo de Cebu’s Jared Bahay became the first player from the province who has been hailed as the best high school player of the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) 24.

Bahay topped the 2023 list of the most impressive under-19 talents as he was hailed as the first non-University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and non-National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) player to claim the spot once held by Adamson University’s Encho Serrano, Ateneo’s Kai Sotto in back-to-back years and San Beda’s Rhayyan Amsali.

The Cebu Sports and Athletic Federation Inc. juniors MVP showed the way for the Season 22 champion Magis Eagles and also played for Gilas Pilipinas Youth in the 2022 FIBA Under-16 and Under-18 Asian Championships.

SHS-Ateneo teammate Raffy Celis (No. 21) joins the 5-foot-9 point guard in the final rankings, while the UAAP and NCAA count 13 and nine players, respectively, on the list.

La Salle-Greenhills forward Luis Pablo was third, followed by Letran guard Andy Gemao and another Greenie big Seven Gagate. Nazareth School-National University playmaker Rein Jumamoy was the highest-rated UAAP player.

Pablo, Jumamoy and Gemao will join forces for Team Hustle in the 2023 Under Armour-All-Star Game on March 19 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

They will be coached by Cholo Villanueva and backstopped by Kristian Porter (6/Ateneo), Peter Rosillo (9/Adamson University), Amiel Acido (11/Perpetua Helpl), Janrey Pasaol (13/Far Eastern University-Dilliman), Kobe Demisana (14/University of the Philippines-Integrated School), SJ Moore (15/Arellano University), Kieffer Alas (18/De La Salle-Zobel), Andrei Dungo (20/San Beda) and Celis.

Team Heart will be coached by Willie Wilson and will have Bahay, Gagate, Rhyle Melencio (7/Zobel), Matthew Rubico (8/Lyceum), Chris Hubilla (10/San Beda), Lebron Nieto (12/Ateneo), Jonathan Manalili (16/Letran), RJ Colonia (17/Nazareth School), Mark Llemit (19/University of Santo Tomas), Veejay Pre (22/FEU-D), Mat Edding (23/Adamson University) and Jonas Napalang (24/UPIS).

Standouts from international and provincial teams during the tournament proper will also be added to the initial rosters for Team Hustle and Team Heart.

Prior to the Under Armour-NBTC All-Star Game, the finals of the Girls Have Game presented by Fil-Nation Select as well as the Slam Dunk Contest, Three-Point Shootout, and Skills Challenge will take place. The championship games for Divisions 1 and 2 of the 2023 Smart-NBTC National Finals, meanwhile, tip off after.

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