Mbala on loss to UP: ‘It’s gonna make us work harder’

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 24, 2017 09:25 PM
Mbala on loss to UP: ‘It’s gonna make us work harder’
LOOK OUT. Having had their first taste of defeat, Ben Mbala and DLSU are plotting a big-time bounce back.

Favored to win back-to-back championships, De La Salle University was at the wrong end by an upset from upstart contender University of the Philippines.

After having tasted their first defeat, however, the Green Archers had nothing but props for their conquerors. “Winning and losing is part of life, it’s part of being an athlete and the game of basketball. Unluckily, we were on the other side,” Ben Mbala told reporters after their 87-98 loss last Saturday.

The reigning and defending MVP did his all to prevent the upset from taking place. He scored 34 points, made good on four triples, and hauled in 12 rebounds.

What didn’t do its part, however, was a defense that was unable to enforce any kind of mayhem. “Ang problema namin, depensa,” head coach Aldin Ayo said.

In the end, the Taft-based team only, for its standards, forced 16 turnovers while also allowing its opponents to shoot 47.4 percent from the field.

Also, with the substandard defense, the Fighting Maroons made good on 16 triples – tied for most in a single game since 2003.

“Very complacent kami although lahat naman ng ginawa nila (UP) sa court, nalagay namin sa scouting report namin,” Ayo shared. “They (UP) did not do anything exceptional, ginawa lang nila yung usual nilang ginagawa. The thing is, hindi namin sinunod game plan namin.”

Pressed further, the fiery mentor said fatigue may have also been a factor. “Siguro, baka pagod. This is our third game and with the system we have, both ends of the floor, we keep on running, baka physically drained mga bata,” he said.

Before taking on UP last Saturday, DLSU also matched up with National University last September 16 and with Adamson University last September 20.

Of course, the defending champions aren’t about to let one loss bring them down. As Mbala put it, “What I can tell you is we’ll go back to the gym and work harder. It doesn’t feel good to lose, but you have to look at the bright side of losing.”

He then continued, “It’s gonna make us work harder. We will want it more than anybody else.”

And so, University of Sto. Tomas better watch out when they meet the Green Archers who will want nothing more than to vent their ire on somebody when they take to the court again on Saturday.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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