KAI Ballungay finally had his breakout game as he carried Ateneo to a 76-55 rout of Adamson in the UAAP Season 85 men's basketball tournament on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The first-year forward erupted for a season-high 21 points, including the layup that gave the Blue Eagles a 23-point lead, 72-49, with 3:39 left in the game on the way to their fourth win in six games.
He also shot 3-of-4 from deep and 8-of-10 from the field, as well as collecting four rebounds and two assists in the win that lifted the Blue Eagles' spirits after a loss to the UP Maroons just last Sunday.
Ateneo made sure there won't be any letdowns this time, starting off the third quarter with 12 unanswered points to turn a nine-point halftime lead, 41-32 to a commanding 21-point edge, 53-32, with 6:50 left in the frame.
"Very happy to get back on the right side of the win-loss column after the tough UP loss," said coach Tab Baldwin.
"It's not easy for the guys to bounce back from those emotional games. We try to get everybody back on an even keel and ready to play the next game. I think the players did a very good job of talking to one another and coming into this game in the right frame of mind."
Dave Ildefonso contributed 15 points and three rebounds while Ange Kouame didn't have to do much of the scoring as he only had four points but grabbed 12 boards along with five assists, three blocks, and two steals.
Jerom Lastimosa had to work hard for his 18 points and two rebounds as the Soaring Falcons suffered back-to-back losses to sink to a 2-4 card.
ATENEO 76 - Ballungay 21, Ildefonso 15, Gomez 8, Chiu 7, Padrigao 5, Lazaro 5, Kouame 4, Andrade 4, Garcia 3, Koon 3, Daves 2, Ong 2, Quitevis 0, Fetalvero 0, Fornilos 0, Lao 0.
ADAMSON 55 - Lastimosa 18, Douanga 8, Torres 6, Manzano 5, Flowers 4, Jaymalin 3, Fuentebella 3, Yerro 2, Barasi 2, Barcelona 2, W. Magbuhos 2, V. Magbuhos 0, Colonia 0.
Quarters: 22-16, 41-32, 61-47, 76-55.