Desiderio on matchup with Mbala: ‘Nakakapagod’
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 15, 2017 09:32 PM
MISMATCH. Ben Mbala joins Ron Dennison as the Paul Desiderio stoppers.
Paul Desiderio wasn’t going to have another career game at the expense of De La Salle University.
Reigning and defending MVP Ben Mbala made sure of that on Saturday.
With the six-foot-seven Cameroonian all over him, the six-foot-flat Cebuano only had a season-low seven points in 2-of-13 shooting.
And Desiderio was not one to hide the fact that his primary defender really gave him a tough time. “Nung first quarter, nagulat ako. Ang laki ng tao ko so naiilang ako parati,” he said.
Making matters worse, with Mbala essentially switching to the forward position, the King Maroon was also forced to match up with him at the other end. “Pagdating na nung second quarter, wala akong choice kundi bantayan din si Ben. Naka-three bigs sila at kung papalabasin ko si Ibra, wala kaming rim protector so kinuha ko na lang talaga,” he shared.
He then continued, “Nakakapagod. Napagod din ako talaga.”
Just as he was unable to do anything on offense, Desiderio was also unable to do anything while guarding the Green Archers’ powerhouse who imposed his will to the tune of 27 points, 14 rebounds, and three assists.
For UP head coach Bo Perasol, they were just unable to take advantage of the fact that Desiderio had some sort of quickness advantage over Mbala. “We were actually ready for everything that they’re going to throw at us. In hindsight nga, mas maganda nga sana kasi nasa labas si Ben,” he said.
He then continued, “But then again, our main scorer, hindi siya naka-score. We were really outhustled.”
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