UAAP 80: DLSU’s Mbala says having a local and a foreign MVP would be ‘unfair’

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 30, 2017 06:14 PM
DLSU’s Mbala says having a local and a foreign MVP ‘unfair’
Ben Mbala believes that the MVP should go to the one person who deserves it

For the second straight season, Ben Mbala separated himself far and away from the rest to prove that he is the hands-down MVP.

With per game counts of 26 points in 52 percent shooting, 13.1 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, 1.3 assists, and 1.3 steals all while powering De La Salle University one win away from a second straight championship, he had 30 more Statistical Points (SPs) than his closest competitor.

This, after last season which saw him average 20.6 points in 54 percent shooting, 16.2 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, 1.4 steals, and 1.2 assists in the Taft-based team’s 15-1 championship run. Then, he was 20 points ahead of his closest competitor.

Just based on those computations, there is no doubt that Mbala deserves not one, but two awards for top individual player.

However, Mbala, who hails from Cameroon, remains in the crosshairs of a debate with one side putting forth questions about foreign players.

In particular, there has been a school of thought saying that there should be two MVP awards – one for a local player and one for a foreign player.

This idea was most recently championed by Kobe Paras.



For his part, back-to-back MVP Mbala was adamant that there should just be one award – and it will go to whoever deserves it. As he put it, “It’s pretty funny ‘cause since I’ve been here, I’ve seen a local guy win MVP even with, like how they call us, imports (around). There’s Kiefer (Ravena), there’s Bobby (Ray Parks Jr.) and they were back-to-back MVP.”

Indeed, Ravena and Parks Jr. won two MVPs in a row – besting the likes of Karim Abdul, Charles Mammie, and Emmanuel Mbe.

He then continued, “If you’re good, you’ll get it.”

Mbala then went on to a more recent example in the NCAA where CJ Perez was named top individual player after beating out the likes of teammate Prince Eze, Mike Nzeusseu, and Donald Tankoua. “Right now, I just feel like they’re looking for excuses. Why in the NCAA, Perez was able to get it even with a lot of imports,” he said.

In the end, Mbala, the Green Archer’s six-foot-seven powerhouse, said that all is fair in the league championship and the league MVP. “It doesn’t matter if you’re Filipino or a foreign student-athlete. If you work for the MVP, then you will (win it),” he said.

He then continued, “If not, don’t look for excuses like (it should be) divided in local and foreign. That’s pretty unfair. That’s not how it’s supposed to be.”


Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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