Kai Ballungay announces departure from the Ateneo de Manila University

Kai Ballungay will no longer play for Ateneo (UAAP)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Athletic power forward star Kai Ballungay will forego his final playing year with the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Eagles confirmed last December 4, 2023.

After failing to defend their UAAP Men’s basketball championship title this season, Ballungay penned a heartfelt message to the Ateneo community after two playing seasons.

“Though my time with the Blue Eagles has come to an end, my connection to the program, the university, and to my brothers remains unwavering. I wish nothing but the best to the team moving forward, and I cannot wait to witness their continued success,” Ballungay wrote in his lengthy social media post.

Ballungay already hinted at moving to the professional ranks but is yet to confirm if he will be playing overseas or in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

The six-foot-seven forward quickly made a name for himself the moment he wore the Ateneo blue jersey after becoming the team’s energy guy and hustle leader.

From grabbing the loose balls and the 50-50 possessions, Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin was all praises to Ballungay and described him as one of the team’s most hardworking players.

Ballungay was one of the reasons why the Blue Eagles won the ultimate chip in Season 85 and became the squad’s top-scorer a year after with 11.6 points per game.

Despite the improved stat averages of Ballungay in every department, the Blue Eagles only managed to reach the Final Four and were ousted by the UP Fighting Maroons.

“With strong feelings of excitement, I wish to share that I will be embarking on the next chapter of my journey – transitioning to the world of professional basketball. The decision to pursue this path was not made lightly whatsoever, and I am glad to bring with me the invaluable experiences and lessons I have gained during my time at Ateneo,” Ballungay added.