10 Things we'll all remember about Ben Mbala
Cameroonian center Ben Mbala will leave a huge hole in DLSU after announcing that he has played his final game for the Green Archers.
From the moment Ben Mbala stepped onto the UAAP court, he already different from all the other foreign reinforcements who came before him.
His incredible skills on the court, and undeniable charisma off it was a definite plus during his two-year playing stint with De La Salle.
While he's off to the pros to play for Mexican club Fuerza Regia, his highlights, heroics, and his antics, will endure.
So as a farewell to one of the most dominant, and enjoyable players to ever grace the UAAP, let's count down the 10 things, in no particular order, we will all surely miss about The Kid From Cameroon, Ben Mbala.
1. His raucous rim-rattlers
The moment: His life-changing dunk against Ateneo
Ben Mbala steadily provided highlight after highlight in his two years in the UAAP.
Every time the 6'6" center has his hands on the ball, fans and opponents alike had their eyes peeled.
While there are a lot of dunkers now in the UAAP, there will never be another like Ben.
2. His brutal blocks
The moment: His nasty rejection on Alvin Pasaol, who dropped 49 points on DLSU in the previous round
Aside from being an offensive force capable of bending opponents' defenses to his liking, Ben can lock down his man as well.
As the main anchor of La Salle's #MAYHEM, he has provided several defensive highlights on top of his dazzling dunks.
3. His physical presence
The moment: His wayward elbow that left Matt Nieto bloodied and on the floor
Ben Mbala's mere presence makes any opponent tremble, and it may have to do with his domineering frame and physical play.
As physically gifted as he is, Mbala will go down as one of the best examples of what the peak athletic form can look like.
4. His smile
While he's a big scary dude, Ben Mbala is a pretty chill guy. You can see him break out a smile or two during games or while being interviewed.
5. His unlikely goofiness
The moment: His random kiss on UP big man Andrew Harris after fighting for a rebound.
Aside from flashing his wide smile once in a while, Ben's lighthearted nature surfaces in those unexpectedly funny moments.
6. His wisdom
The moment: His simple yet helpful tips on how to enjoy life
Ben Mbala has come far and wide, from Cameroon to Taft Avenue, and he has seen, and gone through a lot.
In a short feature for UpFront at the UAAP, Ben dished out some pretty helpful life advice, answering the best he can with all the life experience he's garnered.
7. His love for La Salle
The moment: His loving message for DLSU fans after winning his second straight MVP
While other foreign reinforcements come and go without much fanfare, Ben left La Salle in good terms, saying good bye via Twitter with a lengthy post.
His best moment came when he gave an uplifting message to the DLSU community after he won the UAAP season 80 MVP award.
8. His sportsmanship
The moment: Ben Mbala gives props to UE star Alvin Pasaol for dropping 49 points against La Salle.
Game respect game. Ben Mbala knows talent when he sees one, and against Alvin Pasaol and the Red Warriors, he had nothing but praise after the UE star caught fire for 49 points in their duel.
9. His three-point shot
The moment: When he caught fire early against UP, hitting four long bombs in the first quarter alone.
Ben was already an extreme threat from the paint during his first year in La Salle. By dominating inside, he was able to tow the Green Archers to the season 79 title.
Come the next season, Mbala became even better, and even scarier as he had improved across the board. His ball handling was much tighter, and of course, his proficiency from deep has become a weapon. His dedication to his craft is seen by constantly improving even when he's already at the top.
10. His unrivaled love for the game
The moment: His emotional celebration after winning the UAAP season 79 title
That 🏆 feeling. pic.twitter.com/h6zMrvV7ro— ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) December 7, 2016
While DLSU did end up losing in this year's Finals, Ben Mbala still help bring a championship to Taft.
And the way Ben celebrated immediately after winning the title is both chilling and touching. All his life's work has come down to becoming a champion and it shows.