UAAP: Ballungay, Amos come through late as Ateneo beats La Salle
MANILA, Philippines—Kai Ballungay and Mason Amos delivered the big baskets down the stretch as defending champion Ateneo topped archrival La Salle, 77-72, in the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Amos showed up when it mattered most, scoring eight straight points, including back-to-back triples for a 70-64 cushion with 2:07 remaining.
An emphatic Ballungay dunk followed by a Jared Brown jumper sealed the game, 74-67, with only a minute left as the Blue Eagles notched their first win after dropping their opening game on Saturday.
Ballungay recorded a double-double with 18 points and 16 rebounds, 12 of which on the offensive glass while Chris Koon led all scorers with 19 points that went with seven rebounds, and three assists.
“I don’t often do it, but just a big shout out to this guy sitting on my right [Kai Ballungay]. 12 offensive rebounds out of 27. 27 is a massive offensive rebounding performance, which is indicative that our guys came to battle. For Kai to pull down 12 of those is I don’t know…that’s beyond Ange Kouame-ish, really. That’s really saying something,” said Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin.
Amos, who only scored two points in their 77-64 loss to National University last Saturday, proved his worth with 12 points including three triples to go with five rebounds, as Joseph Obasa added 11 points and 16 rebounds.
“Well I think a lot of people will get really excited about this, but it’s the second game of the season. It’s a great rivalry game between two proud universities, and obviously, we’re delighted we won that. Most importantly, I think we found some fight. It was lacking last game and to find it is very rewarding,” Baldwin said. “However, the quality of performance needs to be better, but I think it will get better. This is a tough game to try and go out and be efficient when you have the emotion and intensity of the opposition.”
Quiambao powered the Green Archers with 17 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, and two blocks. Evan Nelle had 15 points, three rebounds, and three assists, while Earl Abadam added 11 markers.
Ateneo (77) – Koon 19, Ballungay 18, Amos 12, Obasa 11, Brown 8, Espinosa 5, Lazaro 2, Chiu 1, Quitevis 1, Credo 0, Bongo 0, Nieto 0, Gomez 0.
DLSU (72) – Quiambao 17, Nelle 15, Abadam 11, Nonoy 9, Austria 5, Cortez 4, Manuel 3, B. Phillips 3, M. Phillips 2, David 0, Escandor 0, Gollena 0.
Quarterscores: 25-23, 37-39, 47-54, 77-72