Unbeaten La Salle welcomes Mbala back vs Adamson
Already looking formidable in the first two games of its campaign, unbeaten La Salle gets another boost as reigning Most Valuable Player Ben Mbala suits up for the first time in UAAP Season 80 on Wednesday.
Mbala, who missed the games against Far Eastern U and National U due to national team duties with Cameroon in Fiba Afrobasket, returns to the lineup as the Green Archers gun for their third straight win against the Adamson Falcons in the 4 p.m. game.
National U clashes with University of Santo Tomas at 4 p.m. with the Tigers shooting for a first victory in three outings.
The Bulldogs hope to return to winning ways after dropping a 110-115 decision to the Archers last Saturday in a game where rookie Josh Bartlett delivered 23 points in a losing effort.
But the spotlight will be on Mbala and the rest of the Archers as they go up against an Adamson team which pulled off its first win of the season against UST, 88-81, last Saturday.
“Maybe we’re on this level now, but when Ben plays, we will just raise our level with him,” said La Salle coach Aldin Ayo, after the Archers won a high-scoring affair over the Bulldogs.
Ayo actually expects a much-improved version of Mbala when the reigning MVP finally plays for the Archers. Mbala showed flashes of a more polished outside shot in Afrobasket.
“When Ben comes in, he can play, the 5, 4, 3, or he can even play 2 depending on our schemes,” said Ayo. “We’ll find a way to put in Ben and in spots where he can be comfortable.”
Mbala’s absence actually gave the likes of Abu Tratter, Santi Santillan and Justin Baltazar to flourish, while Aljun Melecio took over the offense, averaging 24.5 points in the first two games.
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