TANAUAN CITY — Ben Mbala said he is far from satisfied with his performance in his first two games with the De La Salle Green Archers’ main squad in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL).
Although he posted impressive numbers, Mbala said the PCCL Luzon-Metro Manila qualifiers was a period of adjustment for him as he joined La Salle's Team A for the first time after playing for Team B during his two-year residency period.
“It’s pretty different from Fr. Martin (tournament) where I play with Team B,” Mbala told Spin.ph after the Green Archers swept their two games in the qualifiers here. “The level of basketball is way higher here.
“I still have to memorize and be able to adjust to the plays the coach wants me to bring on the court. But as long as we win the game, it’s enough for me,” the 20-year-old Mbala added.
Head coach Juno Sauler said this is also the first time he has handled the former Southwestern University big man.
“He is still working and trying to learn things because when he was with La Salle two years back, he has been practicing with Team B. We were not the ones handling Team B so it’s just only now that Ben is joining Team A. He is also trying to familiarize himself with the style of play of the guys. Hopefully he can jell quicker,” said Sauler.
Mbala had a relatively impressive debut with the Green Archers, finishing with nine points and 14 rebounds on Sunday against Jose Rizal University. The Cameroonian standout followed it up with seven markers in La Salle’s 79-56 win over Centro Escolar University on Monday.
But Mbala hopes things will get better from hereon, saying he wants to get back to the form that convinced La Salle to bring him over from Cebu.
“Not really (satisfied). It’s just the beginning. For me, I’m still trying to improve my game. I’m not really looking for the stats. I’m looking at how I can play with my teammates and into the pace given by the coach,” said Mbala.
Mbala is set to make his long-awaited debut for the Green Archers in UAAP Season 78. By then, he hopes to be back to his best.
“I’m super excited,” Mbala said. “I’ve been out for two years. I’m trying my best to get in shape and get back to the skills I had in the past.”