Mbala on La Salle departure: ‘It’s final’
For La Salle big man Ben Mbala, it was time to move up the ranks.
Speaking for the first time since announcing his decision to turn pro in Mexico, the Cameroonian center believes that it’s just the right time for him to leave the confines of Taft.
“It’s final,” he said in an interview with Sports Desk. “I feel like it’s time to get to the next level. It’s been a long time for me in college and I feel like it’s time for another level.”
Mbala admitted that it was a hard decision for him to part ways with the Green Archers, which have been his family for the better part of the last five years.
“La Salle is like a family,” he said. “They’ve been there for me since day one when I wasn’t playing. Even when I got suspended, they still got my back. Leaving La Salle is really hard, but I know the people there understood. I know my teammates, coaches, and management will understand and support me.”
But the turn of events over the past year, especially the doubts that surrounded his eligibility for UAAP Season 81, made sense for Mbala to accept the job in Mexico with Fuerza Regia as he will now be a reinforcement for the squad in top-tier Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional.
“It all started when my last year was not really sure. With the rules that have been coming out, I had to talk to my family and the people at school. I felt that it’s time for me to get to the next level instead of wasting one year not doing anything. I decided to try my luck in the pro league and see how it goes,” said the 6-foot-8 slotman.
And so far, Mbala is having a blast as he now gets to showcase his talents on a professional level in Mexico.
“Everything is going fine. The guys really welcomed me the right way and they are very understanding patient with me, especially I’m the new face. They are giving me a lot of advice,” he said.
Mbala, however, isn’t ruling out a possible return to the Philippines somewhere along the way, may it be for a vacation or as an import.
“Why not? I love the Philippines,” he said. “It’s not like I’m leaving the Philippines forever. I will visit from time to time. If I get an offer to play in the Philippines, why not? I’ll grab it.”
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