BEN Mbala posted a huge double-double as La Salle whipped Ateneo, 98-66, on Sunday in the Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup at The Arena in San Juan.
The Cameroonian import had 28 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks, as La Salle remained unbeaten, on top of Group B with a 5-0 win-loss slate.
Mbala also provided the highlight plays, including a follow-up slam over Chiebueze Ikeh in the first quarter with Los Angeles Lakers cager Jordan Clarkson watching at the stands.
On the defensive end, Mbala also drew huge applause when he pulled off a chasedown block over Mike Nieto in the third period, when La Salle was up, 70-47, and the result pretty much settled.
Coach Aldin Ayo played down suggestions La Salle wanted to make a statement.
“Hindi naman sa nag-sesend ng message or what. We are working on our team chemistry that is why ganun ka-intense kanina. We are still building our team kaya gusto namin maganda kinalabasan,” said Ayo.
Jeron Teng was equally impressive, scoring 24 points on 11-of-21 shooting, while Abu Tratter added 10 points in 18 minutes for the Green Archers.
Thirdy Ravena and Ikeh had 10 points each for the Blue Eagles.
La Salle 98 — Mbala 28, Teng 24, Tratter 10, Torres 9, Montalbo 8, Melecio 8, Caracut 5, R. Rivero 4, P. Rivero 2, Gob 0, Go 0, Paraiso 0, Dyke 0, Langston 0, Muyang 0.
Ateneo 66 - Ravena 10, Ikeh 10, Porter 8, Wong 8, Black 7, Ma. Nieto 6, Mi. Nieto 4, Tio 3, Allmond 3, Babilonia 2, Tolentino 2, Mendoza 2, Banzon 1, Go 0.
Quarterscores: 22-14; 51-35; 82-55; 98-66.