Mbala bags Player of the Week honor

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Ben Mbala of DLSU defends the ball against Richard Escoto and Prince Orizu of FEU during a UAAP basketball elimination rounds game at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. PHOTO BY RUSSELL PALMA

Ben Mbala of DLSU defends the ball against Richard Escoto and Prince Orizu of FEU during a UAAP basketball elimination rounds game at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. PHOTO BY RUSSELL PALMA

De La Salle University’s first two games went exactly the way most people have envisioned it to be prior to the season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP).

To say that the Archers’ highly anticipated recruit Ben Mbala had a huge hand in making it happen might be a terrible understatement.

The 6’8 Cameroonian has definitely lived up to expectations so far as he steered La Salle to victories over defending champion Far Eastern University and University of the Philippines on Sunday.

His dominant showing in both games earned him the first Accel Quantum/3XVI-UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week honors for the season.


In that stretch, Mbala posted averages of 21.5 points, 18.5 rebounds, three shot blocks and a season’s worth of highlight reel as he displayed the tenacity and the eagerness one could expect from a man who has watched the UAAP from the sidelines over the past three years.

And by the looks of it, Mbala’s potential is only beginning to scratch the surface.

“I’m still a work in progress. I can’t say that I’m already satisfied with my game,” said Mbala after posting 30 points and 14 rebounds against the Fighting Maroons on Saturday.

“I cannot stop myself until I’m good enough. I just want to improve and there’s always a room for improvement. I think I can still play better,” he added.

Mbala snatching the weekly honors was hardly a surprise for anyone despite the abundance of awesome individual performances in the opening week.

“Big Ben” bested University of Santo Tomas hero Renzo Subido, Adamson University’s Jerrick Ahanmisi and Alfred Aroga of the unbeaten National University for the weekly plum.

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