There’s a new force rising from Taft.
La Salle prized recruit Ben Mbala sent a strong message to rival schools in just his 2nd game in the preseason tourney as he starred for the Green Archers’ demolition of the University of the East, 97-75, in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup on Friday.
After a so-so numbers in their debut game, the towering Cameroonian import imposed his will against the much-smaller UE side, posting a monster double-double of 24 points, 15 rebounds (6 offensive) on top of 4 blocks.
“After being out for 3 years, it’s really feels good to be back and playing. It feels great,” said the Mbala, who will play for La Salle next season after sitting out due to eligibility and technicality.
The former Southwestern University standout was unstoppable on the court highlighting his best performance yet in La Salle uniform with 3 highlight reel dunks.
For Mbala, the pressure of carrying La Salle back to the basketball glory is what drives him. But despite living up to the hype this early, Mbala is still far from satisfied with his performance as he gears up for the physicality of the UAAP cage wars that will kick off later this year.
“I have to work on how to beat the double team, how to play with a second big man, how to kick off the ball because it’s not all about the score but making the team play good and look good by involving everyone,” he said.
Even new head coach Aldin Ayo is impressed with his import’s development this summer.
“He’s settling down, nawala na yung gigil niya nung mga previous games namin. Kasi 3 years hindi nakapaglaro ‘to so he wants to prove himself,” said Ayo.
But Ayo shared Mbala has one problem that he wanted to change.
“If there’s one setback for Ben, he’s a perfectionist. If he commits mistake, he becomes frustrated to himself. But ngayon okay na siya, sana tuloy tuloy.” – By Jason Mercene
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