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    Petron center Pena bulked up for Mbenga showdown with extra cups of rice

    Apr 7, 2013
    Former Laker DJ Mbenga was a picture of disappointment on the Barako Bull bench. Jerome Ascano

    TO prepare for his showdown with the hulking DJ Mbenga, Petron center Dorian Pena revealed that he powered up with extra servings of rice.

    “I had to do that because I know it’s gonna be tough banging  bodies with him (Mbenga),” said Pena, who gobbled up four cups of rice to go with a Bistek Tagalog dish.

    “I used to do that (routine) every now and then,” added the 240-pound Boosters center. “He’s a big guy, he’s a great player, he played in the NBA so I really prepared hard."

    Pena said preparing for MBenga wasn't easy because he hadn't seen him play before.

    “You can’t prepare for somebody who just arrived and hasn’t played, so I just used my own instinct on how to play a big guy and try to deny him at the post,” said Pena.

    “I just tried to thrash him and bang his body, make him tired,” Pena added. “I just wanted to make sure his job won’t be easy … Welcome to the PBA DJ”.

    The 35-year-old said the Boosters clamped down on MBenga to redeem themselves after allowing Meralco Bolts import Eric Dawson to score 57 points against them.

    “Actually coach (Olsen Racela) stressed defense, last game nakakahiya talaga kasi we allowed one player to score 57 points,” said Pena. “So we really tried to shut him down.”

    Pena’s teammate, Arwind Santos, said he was happy they played Mbenga and Barako Bull right in the former Los Angeles Laker's first game in the country.

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    “Buti tapos na sila, at sa first game niya namin sila nakalaban, yun nga na wala pa siya sa kundisyon … nakakatakot na rin (ang laro niya),” said Santos.

    “Pag nakundisyon si Mbenga tapos naging compatible na siya sa sistema ng Barako Bull, mahihirapan yung mga makakalaban nila.

    “He’s an NBA player, you can’t count him out. I’m pretty sure he’s adjusting to the style of aggressive play here in the PBA. I’m just glad this game is over, a win is win."

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    Former Laker DJ Mbenga was a picture of disappointment on the Barako Bull bench. Jerome Ascano
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