Fil-Am standouts Kai Ballungay, Andrew Bongo commit to Ateneo

The Ateneo Blue Eagles have added more talent to their deep roster after securing the commitments of Filipino-American standouts Kai Ballungay and Andrew Bongo.

Ballungay, 19, is a 6-foot-7 high-flying forward who already made waves in the Philippines in the 2019 NBTC tournament as part of the FilAm Sports USA squad.

He then played one season for California State University, Stanislaus, where he averaged 2.5 points and 1.9 rebounds in 24 outings as a freshman.

Meanwhile, Bongo, 18, is a 6-foot-4 guard who just graduated from Charter Oak High School in California.

He averaged 22.0 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.3 steals, and 2.2 blocks in 10 games as a senior.

“We’re really excited. These are both really high-quality basketball players,” said Ateneo Blue Eagles head coach Tab Baldwin of Ballungay and Bongo in a virtual press conference on Monday, July 26.

“They’ve proven themselves in the US at the high school level, and Kai having a year of university under his belt.”

“A lot of people (in the Philippines) haven’t seen much of these guys, but obviously we’re bringing more size in the program,” he added.

Ballungay will have to sit out one year and will be eligible to play for the Blue and White by UAAP Season 85, while Bongo can make his debut for the reigning three-time UAAP champions in Season 84. 

They will join a powerhouse Ateneo squad, which still has Gilas Pilipinas members Dwight Ramos, SJ Belangel, Angelo Kouame, and Geo Chiu as well as mainstays Gian Mamuyac, Tyler Tio, Raffy Verano, and Jolo Mendoza, among others. –