Mbala says ‘I did not intend to hit or hurt’ Nieto
Ben Mbala said that he didn’t mean any harm on Matt Nieto when the two collided late in the first half of Game 1 of the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball Finals.
“It’s part of basketball,” Mbala said after La Salle fell to Ateneo, 70-76, on Saturday. “I had the ball, I spun and it was late on the rotation the double and that’s why he got hit.”
Nieto was left bloodied as he sustained a cut above his right eye after taking an inadvertent elbow from Mbala.
“I didn’t intend to hit him or hurt him,” the two-time UAAP MVP said.
The Ateneo gallery, which included the Nieto family patriarch, was outraged over the incident.
“I don’t know why his dad is cursing at me and threatening me. I wasn’t trying to listen to what he was saying, but from where I saw him, he was threatening me and pointing at me telling me I’m dead,” he said. “I’ll just say he was probably going through the emotion of the game and he saw his son on the floor bloodied. But it is part of the game.”
“He’s been in the sport for quite some time and we all know things like that happen all the time and I did not intend to hurt his son. That’s not something you should be doing during a finals game, especially when you’re a father of two players on the court,” he said.
But rather than dwell on it, Mbala and the rest of the Green Archers have
“Obviously, if we lose the next game then it’s over. We are not gonna go out here just to have a regular and mediocre game,” said Mbala, who is also eyeing to rebound from his season-low eight point-performance in Game 1.
“We just have to go out there and win the game because without it, we are gonna be out. Everything we’ve been doing throughout the season will just be gone to waste.”