The year 2024 may be upon us, but by the time you read this, Jared Bahay already got a headstart in beginning the year with a fresh slate.

Yes, Bahay won his second straight Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. Juniors Basketball Championship (and the third straight overall title for the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles), but there remained the question on where he would be heading to college.

Bahay had been committed to the UP Fighting Maroons since March 2023, but it seems that it may not be set in stone. Whispers of Bahay’s potential change of heart surfaced around two weeks ago, starting off as subtweets before emerging as rumors that raised alarm bells within the Fighting Maroons and the UP community. One can’t blame Bahay for rethinking his decision, though, given that he made it at the end of his junior year and a lot has happened since then. That is, if it was his decision to reconsider his options.

Nonetheless, the Fighting Maroons remain in consideration and if things go well, this could be an episode to laugh at later on. Bahay already committed even if the likes of Gerry Abadiano, Terrence Fortea, and Jan Jan Felicilda will still be with UP in UAAP Season 87. JD Cagulangan could also return in Season 87, though, so that certainly made for a more crowded backcourt. 

If Bahay does have a change of heart, the ADMU Blue Eagles provide the most intriguing opportunity, with Jared Brown’s departure leaving a backcourt that won’t scare anyone outside of the Ateneo Basketball League.


Of course, the DLSU Green Archers will definitely be in the mix, but with the return of reigning MVP Kevin Quiambao, the steady presence of Joshua David, and the additions of Mur Alao, Matthew Rubico, and Ethan Alian in Season 87, Bahay will definitely be battling a handful of players for reps.

Meanwhile, the UST Growling Tigers and the NU Bulldogs could also be in consideration, but the former still has Nic Cabanero (for now) and the latter has Kean Baclaan so it will also be a redundancy to say the least.

Bahay reopening his commitment is something that comes with great anticipation given the hype surrounding the 18-year old. It goes without saying that the talent is there, but more importantly, Bahay’s ability to use his skills to win games is what sets him apart from his peers. If his team needs points, count on him to get the bucket by any means necessary. His teammates are clicking on offense? Look to Bahay to lead the team in assists. The dirty work? Bahay can rebound with the best of them despite being listed at 5-foot-9.

That’s why it’s not surprising that even loaded teams are hoping to recruit Bahay to their programs. You don’t want to be the franchise that missed out on a great talent just because you didn’t give your best recruiting pitch. It would be better if Bahay makes the decision on his own and when he ends up with another team, you can only wish him the best. That is, until your team and his team square off in the finals.

With only a couple of days left before 2024, Jared Bahay reportedly wanted to end 2023 with a bang. Everyone outside of the UP Fighting Maroons and their faithful are crossing their fingers and toes that Bahay stays, while others are waiting with bated breath to see whether or not he will have a change of heart. No matter what the outcome is, it has only turned an intriguing offseason into a spicier one.