Eligibility questioned, Mbala takes talents to Mexico
With uncertainty looming over his continued stint in the UAAP, Ben Mbala has decided to take his game to “another level.”
In a television interview that came at the heels of his decision to turn pro and play for a club team in Mexico, Mbala admitted that questions surrounding his eligibility helped push him to one of the hardest decisions he has had to make.
“It all started when my last year was not really sure,” Mbala told CNN’s Sports Desk via Skype from Mexico. “With the rules that have been coming out, I had to talk to my family and the people at school. I felt that it was 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.”
Mbala’s eligibility woes were first reported by the Inquirer, which revealed that the two-year hiatus of the “Seven years out of high school rule,” which was imposed to ease the lack of recruitment brought about by the implementation of the K-12 curriculum, had already lapsed.
Mbala will thus see action with Fuerza Regia as he will now be a reinforcement for the squad in top-tier Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional.
“It’s final,” said the 6-foot-8 Cameroonian center. “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, however, admitted that it was a hard decision to part ways with the Green Archers after five years and two playing seasons.
“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.”
And so far, Mbala is having a blast in Mexico.
“Everything is going fine. The guys really welcomed me the right way and they are very understanding [and] patient with me, especially I’m the new face,” he said.
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