FIRST SINCE KAI. Jared Bahay, who led Ateneo de Cebu to a third straight Cesafi title, becomes the first player since Kai Sotto to top the NBTC 24 rankings for two straight years. /
FIRST SINCE KAI. Jared Bahay, who led Ateneo de Cebu to a third straight Cesafi title, becomes the first player since Kai Sotto to top the NBTC 24 rankings for two straight years. /CONTRIBUTED

Bahay makes top spot his home for 2nd year

SACRED Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu’s Jared Bahay has once again been named the top-ranked high school player in the country after topping the 2024 National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) 24.

Bahay, who led the Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles to a third straight juniors title in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) last year, is the first guard to top the NBTC for two straight years. This is only the second time the same player has topped the prestigious high school rankings since Kai Sotto.

Bahay is joined by five other Cebuanos on this elite list. Landing on the sixth spot in Jonathan “Titing” Manalili, who is currently leading the charge for the Letran Squires in the NCAA.

At no. 8 is former Ateneo de Cebu standout Kristian Porter, who plays for Ateneo de Manila in the UAAP. Ranked 12th on this list is Ateneo de Cebu’s ace forward Jelo Rota, while at no. 15 is former Cebu Institute of Technology-University star Lawrence Mangubat, who now plays for Mapua in the NCAA.

Peter John Peteros of Khalifa-Cebu rounded out the top 24 players in the 2024 NBTC 24.

“This is further proof that grassroots basketball is alive and well in the Philippines, and hopefully, as NBTC continues to grow and get stronger, we get more and more promising prospects all over the country,” said NBTC program director Eric Altamirano.

Rising stars from international and regional teams during the tournament will also be added to the lineups of Team Heart and Team Hustle. Together with the annual exhibition of the best of the best young talents, the 2024 NBTC National Finals will also witness an All-Star Game from the Manila Live girls tournament, as well as the first-ever Manila Showcase, pitting the top players from Manila Live against the other standouts of the National Finals. / JNP

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