TERRIFIC 12: Mbala on Coach Ayo's move to UST: "I'm happy for him"
Paul Lintag on Sep 18, 2018 08:03 PM
"Who am I to judge him or take a side on whatever he decided to do. That's his own career, that's his own path. He has to do what makes him happy, if he's happy with his new team, then so be it. I'm happy for him and may God bless him in whatever he's planning to do for the rest of his career." --- Ben Mbala on his former coach Aldin Ayo. (Asia League photo via Power Sport Images)
MACAU --- For all intents and purposes, Ben Mbala's UAAP career with De La Salle University was a stellar one despite the finish he had in Season 80 last year.
Playing for coach Aldin Ayo, Mbala won two UAAP Most Valuable Player awards and went to two UAAP Finals, capturing one championship.
Since the Green Archers ended up losing to rival Ateneo in three games for the Season 80 title, both Mbala and Ayo have gone separate ways.
Big Ben has embarked on a pro career, having initial stops in Mexico and France before landing in the Korean Basketball League, playing for the Seoul Samsung Thunders.
Tuesday at the Studio Center here, Mbala helped the Thunders jumpstart their pre-season campaign, scoring the game-winning layu as Seoul beat the Fubon Braves, 84-82, in the Asia League's Terrific 12 tournament.
Ayo has moved on to coach UST. Just last week, the NCAA and UAAP champion mentor got his first victory for the Growling Tigers as his rookie-laden squad beat the FEU Tamaraws.
Mbala revealed he's been keeping tabs on what's going on with the Philippines and he has nothing but well wishes for his former coach.
"I mean... I was keeping in touch with some of the guys in the Philippines and in La Salle. I'm familiar about everything going on there," Mbala said.
"I'm happy for him and may God bless him in whatever he's planning to do for the rest of his career," he added.
Big Ben can appreciate Ayo's choice to carve his own path post-La Salle.
It's basically what he's been doing for himself as well so far.
"Who am I to judge him or take a side on whatever he decided to do," Mbala said.
"That's his own career, that's his own path. He has to do what makes him happy, if he's happy with his new team, then so be it," he added.
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