LA Salle coach Aldin Ayo is no doubt impressed with the work ethic of Ben Mbala as the Cameroonian prepares to finally see action for the Green Archers in UAAP Season 79.
The anticipation has been building since Mbala transferred from Southwestern University in Cebu to De La Salle, but after a two-year residency the Cameroonian was declared ineligible by the league for participating in a ‘ligang labas’ in 2014.
Now Mbala looks all set to finally make his UAAP debut, and the new Archers coach is impressed, saying the big man is so different from other foreign players he has seen particularly during his time at Letran in the NCAA.
“Different dimension. Iba ’yung binibigay ng bata. Foreigner na ugaling Pinoy sa laro,” said Ayo.
The La Salle coach was referring to Mbala’s tireless work ethic in training as the recruit looks determined to be the best he can be in his one-and-done stint with the Green Archers in Season 79.
As he made the transfer to Letran, Ayo will have the luxury of fielding a legitimate big man in Mbala, a 6-foot-7 center whose lone stint with the Green Archers came in the Philippine Collegiate Championship League (PCCL) in 2014.
It appears Mbala is making up for lost time in training, according to Ayo.
“Sobrang sipag. And ’yung attitude nung bata, grabe. Very competitive and ayaw magpahinga. ’Yun ’yung tipong kailangan mong kontrolin kasi baka ma-sobrahan,” said Ayo.
Mbala is expected to be part of the UAAP lineup of the Green Archers in Season 79. And after being declared ineligible last season, Mbala also appears to have learned his lesson, according to Ayo, as the big man always makes it a point to make the coaches aware of his whereabouts.
“Kahit sa limahan, nagpapaalam before. Kahit scrimmage, before maglaro nagpapaalam,” said Ayo.