Palarong Pambansa 2023

‘My time’: Jared Bahay clutch as Central Visayas dethrones NCR for Palaro basketball crown

Delfin Dioquino

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‘My time’: Jared Bahay clutch as Central Visayas dethrones NCR for Palaro basketball crown

CHAMPIONS. Jared Bahay (middle) and Central Visayas wins the Palarong Pambansa secondary boys' basketball gold.

Gerard Carreon/Rappler

UP commit Jared Bahay takes over in the fourth quarter as Central Visayas storms back against powerhouse NCR to capture the Palarong Pambansa secondary boys' basketball title

MANILA, Philippines – Jared Bahay delivered the big hits late as Central Visayas halted the years-long reign of NCR in the Palarong Pambansa secondary boys’ basketball with a nail-biting 77-73 final win on Saturday, August 5.

The Gilas Boys guard dropped 10 of his game-high 29 points in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead jumper with 40 seconds remaining that took the fight out of a stunned NCR and sent Central Visayas to jubilation.

‘My time’: Jared Bahay clutch as Central Visayas dethrones NCR for Palaro basketball crown

With the score knotted at 73-73, Bahay took matters into his own hands and banked a long two-pointer for the lead – and eventually the victory – before a packed crowd at the Marikina Sports Center.

“I knew it was my time, it was my moment,” said Bahay, one of the top high school players in the country who has committed to play for the UP Fighting Maroons in the UAAP. “I just let it fly.”

Although Bahay missed a pair of free throws late, Wilhelm Josh Go hauled down a crucial offensive rebound and scored a putback for the final tally as NCR saw the end of its dominance after ruling in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Big man Alden Paul Cainglet contributed 12 points for a Central Visayas side represented by Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu.

Rezald Joshua Dacalos and Nikolas Felipe Yu chimed in 8 points each for the newly crowned champions.

Carl Alfanta finished with 22 points for the Big City, erupting for 14 in the third quarter alone as NCR grabbed a 62-53 lead going into the final salvo.

But Central Visayas refused to give in, with Bahay scoring 8 points in a telling 16-7 run that tied the game at 69-69 with four minutes left.

NCR then shot itself in the foot as Alnhumaeri Usop and Sean Solomon missed two free throws each down the stretch, paving the way for Bahay and Central Visayas to complete their unbeaten run that saw them go 5-0.

“Before the game, we knew that we can beat NCR,” said Bahay. “Coach encouraged us to push further because we knew we can win.”

Elijah Yusi and Juancho Palanca netted 16 and 11 points, respectively, in the loss. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.