Is Ben Mbala the LeBron James of the Philippines?

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 12, 2017 02:20 PM
Is Ben Mbala the LeBron James of the Philippines?
THE KING. DLSU is mulling putting MVP Ben Mbala all over the floor to try and do it all.

Ben Mbala, the reigning and defending MVP of the UAAP, is currently starring in the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket as the best player for Cameroon.

Still wearing green like he does for De La Salle University, Mbala has been averaging 18.3 points and nine rebounds all while leading his home country to the quarterfinals of the regional meet.

And when he finally makes his return to the Philippines and the UAAP, expect an even more devastating Cameroonian powerhouse.

After all, Green Archers head coach Aldin Ayo is open to the idea of moving his man in the middle away from the center position he has been used to. “Si Ben, we always tell him to do new things kasi yung bata, grabe yung work ethic. So we might convert him to the 3-spot when he comes back,” he shared with reporters.

He then continued, “He can play the 2, 3, 4 and 5 (spot) for us now because of the skill set he has developed.”

Mbala has long proven his dominance in the interior and had been working on his outside shot for all of the preseason. Now in the Afrobasket, he is showing he can do anything and everything.

(Just look at that shooting stroke at the 0:05 mark)

Just imagine replacing Jeron Teng, who held down the fort at small forward for DLSU the last five years, with a six-foot-seven, 230-pound reigning and defending MVP of the UAAP.

Scary, huh?

Not for the Green Archers, of course, who are only excited with the prospect of a supersize lineup with Mbala at the 3-spot. “Thank you Lord! May LeBron James na kami,” team captain Kib Montalbo expressed when asked to react to what their mentor shared.

He then continued, “Malaking bagay yun para sa amin. LeBron James ng Pilipinas si Ben e.”

Without a doubt, that’s high praise even for somebody who’s nothing but praiseworthy.

Still, if there’s one player in the Philippines who could replicate “The King’s” impact all over the court, it may very well be Mbala.

However, all of that will remain an idea until the 22-year-old returns and puts it into action.

For now, DLSU is throwing its all-out support for its main man. “Lagi naming pinapanood highlights niya. We’re happy for him,” Montalbo said.

And the Green Archers remain focused on their own campaign. “As of now, we don’t think about kung kailan babalik si Ben. We’re focused on kung anong meron sa amin ngayon,” the captain said.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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