UAAP: Mbala predicted a 'Mac Belo moment' in FEU-La Salle

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 21, 2018 07:48 PM
UAAP: Mbala predicted a 'Mac Belo moment' in FEU-La Salle
Looks like Ben Mbala should add "fortune-teller" to his credentials as a one-time champion and two-time MVP in the UAAP

Do you still remember the time when Mac Belo’s corner jumper sent Far Eastern University to the Finals and sent De La Salle University home?

Ben Mbala sure does. “Remember when I was not playing yet? Mac Belo hit that shot over [Jason] Perkins,” he said.

The one-time champion and two-time MVP was still undergoing residency at that time four years ago and yet, made it a point to mention that moment when the Green Archers yet again waged war with the Tamaraws, this time for the fourth-seed in the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

What’s funny, though, was that Mbala mentioned it just when the game was ongoing on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum. “It’s going to be that type of game. I’m hoping (La Salle) won’t crumble underneath the pressure,” he told reporters at halftime.

As it turns out, the Cameroonian powerhouse may very well have the gift of seeing the future to go along with his athletic prowess.

It was La Salle which had a four-point lead, 70-66, with 63 ticks to go on the clock until Ken Tuffin’s long two pulled FEU just behind by two.

After another defensive stop, Jasper Parker then found Arvin Tolentino with an open look right on top of the arc.

Tolentino, like he always does, didn’t hesitate and launched the long-range missile that ultimately took down the Green Archers and took the Tamaraws to the Final Four.

Post-game, Mbala was only proven right. “I knew it was gonna be a close game at the end of regulation and what I was expecting happened – they hit a clutch shot,” he said.

Nonetheless, he had no doubts that his former teammates would only learn from this sorry loss. As he put it, “That’s basketball, that’s part of the game. You can’t just learn by winning – you also learn by losing as well.”

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