Rookie Ben Mbala is the runaway Most Valuable Player (MVP) winner of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 79 men’s basketball tournament based on the statistics and league rules.
The 6’7 student-athlete from Cameroon amassed a league-leading 92.4286 statistical points (SPs) via Imperium Technology. Adamson’s center Papi Sarr is far behind second in the MVP race with 69.8751 SPs.
La Salle’s UAAP board representative Edwin Reyes said they are happy with the way Mbala is playing, where he led the Green Archers to a 13-1 win-loss record earning them the first twice-to-beat edge in the Final Four.
“You know it is really worth the wait,” Reyes told The Manila Times on Sunday during phone interview. “Ben Mbala doesn’t happen every year to any school. We are happy and proud especially if he wins the MVP title.”
Mbala resided for two years with La Salle since 2013 to become eligible in 2015 but was declared ineligible last year for playing in an outside league which is prohibited to any residing player.
He was cleared to play prior to the opening of Season 79 this year.
Unless he is thrown out and suspended, Mbala is the sure winner of the award since UAAP only uses statistics to determine the winner of the MVP award. The mythical five will be determined though by position and statistics.
La Salle’s Mbala led the league in scoring with 20.6 points, in rebounding with 16.0 and blocks with 2.4 in the double round elimination. Reyes also added that Mbala is not the first foreigner to win an MVP title.
Far Eastern University’s foreign player Anthony Williams won the MVP during the 1981 season.
“This is not new and it happened before,” he said.
After Mbala and Sarr, La Salle’s Jeron Teng finished third (57.333 SPs), University of the Philippines’ Paul Desiderio at fourth (55.1429 SPs) and FEU’s Raymar Jose at fifth (53.6429 SPs) in the statistical race.