UAAP: From zero points in opener, Kai Ballungay gives Ateneo a solid boost in Game 2
MANILA, Philippines—Ateneo’s Kai Ballungay made a statement performance after being a non-factor in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 85 men’s basketball Finals on Wednesday at Araneta Coliseum.
Ballungay credited physicality as his main weapon in the Game 2 victory, saying it worked wonders to force a do-or-die game three against defending champion University of the Philippines.
“We just want to be more physical than we were in Game 1 and it really showed throughout this game,” he said after the Blue Eagles’ 65-55 win that tied the series.
“It’s this kind of mentality we need to bring into game three to get that championship title,” he added.
After finishing with zero points in Game 1, the forward became the second highest scorer for Ateneo on Wednesday.
Ballungay scored 15 markers on an efficient 70 percent shooting clip, shooting seven out of his 10 attempts. He also finished with five rebounds, one steal and one block.
The Blue Eagles’ defense also limited newly-minted MVP Malick Diouf to just two markers, making him take only two shots from the field and sinking one. He finished with 11 boards.
Ateneo also held UP to its lowest season output of 55 points, frustrating them to only a 31.8 percent shooting clip.
After a forgettable Finals opener, Ballungay’s mission in game two was simple; make an impact on offense and defense.
“Game 1 didn’t go the way I wanted to, but coming into tonight, I wanted to impact the game in any way I could in order to help this team.”
The all-or-nothing rubber match between the Katipunan rivals will take place on Monday at the same venue.