AS far as Southwestern University is concerned, big man sensation Ben Mbala is free to pursue a collegiate basketball career in Manila as long as the interested parties seek the Cebu school's permission.
SWU athletic director Ryan Aznar said the institution won't stand in the way of the Cameroonian center if he wants to try his luck in Manila amidst persistent rumors that Mbala is considering taking his act to the Big City.
It’s no secret that Mbala attracted a lot of attention during the Cobras’ campaign in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League last month, where he powered the Cebu-based school to a Final Four.
The SWU big man later admitted to Spin.ph that he received offers from at least three Manila-based schools to play for their respective teams.
De La Salle is rumored to be one of the schools which has taken interest in the former Most Valuable Player of the Basketball Without Borders Africa camp program.
“Mbala is free to play in Manila if he wants,” Aznar told Cebu-based sportswriter and Spin.ph correspondent Jonas Panerio. “He doesn’t have any contract with the school.”
“The only requisite is that any school that wants to recruit him must approach us (SWU) first,” he added.
As of now, Aznar said no school has approached them yet regarding the availability of Mbala.
In an earlier interview with Spin.ph after one of the Cobras’ games in the PCCL, Mbala appeared thrilled at the possibility of bringing his act from Cebu to Manila.
“As a player the thing we want is challenge, more challenge,” said Mbala, who torched eventual PCCL champion University of Santo Tomas for 41 big points in their Final Four encouter.
“And I heard here in Manila (the schools) are stronger than in Cebu so I think about it. I don’t know yet,” he said.