UAAP Basketball

‘Really believed in me’: Gilas Youth’s Jacob Bayla commits to UP Maroons 

Philip Matel

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‘Really believed in me’: Gilas Youth’s Jacob Bayla commits to UP Maroons 

PROSPECT. Jacob Bayla in action in the NBTC All-Stars.


Jacob Bayla, a 6-foot-5 Fil-Am who saw action for Gilas Pilipinas Youth, says the UP Fighting Maroons 'have the tools to guide’ him in his basketball journey in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – A Gilas Pilipinas Youth standout looks to bring his act to the UAAP men’s basketball tournament.

Filipino-American Jacob Bayla, a 6-foot-5 wing from Valley Christian High School in California, committed to play for the UP Fighting Maroons, the school announced on Sunday, May 5. 

Bayla is eligible to play in UAAP Season 87 later this year, where he’ll team up with key cogs Francis Lopez, Harold Alarcon, and JD Cagulangan, as well as new recruits Gani Stevens and Dikachi Udodo.

“UP has a great basketball program. They compete, they play hard, they play at a high level,” said the 18-year-old, who saw action for Gilas Pilipinas Youth in FIBA competitions.  

“I particularly love the coaching staff, as they’ve been coming to the US every year since I was 15 to come watch me play.”

Bayla suited up for  Gilas Pilipinas Youth in the 2022 FIBA Under-16 Asian Championship, where he averaged 8.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists.

Last March, Bayla was one of the stars of Fil-Am Nation Select in the 2024 NBTC National Finals. He posted averages of 11.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists as the team completed an undefeated run on the way to their first Division 1 title

“Ultimately, I believe UP will support and guide me throughout my basketball journey, help me improve my game, and hold me accountable,” said Bayla. “They’re the school that really believed in me since day one.” 

Bayla also cited academic opportunities as one of the main reasons he’s heading to Diliman. 

“Aside from basketball, UP is a great academic school. I always took pride in academics and I know they have the tools to guide me to be successful on and off the court,” he explained. 

The UP basketball management likewise sees Bayla as a key addition.

“We’ve long seen Jacob’s potential, we are so glad he and his family trusted UP as the next step in his young career,” said Bo Perasol, UP Office for Athletics and Sports Development director. 

“With coach Gold (Monteverde’s) guidance, we believe Jacob will reach his full potential.” –

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