THE strong is about to get stronger as streaking La Salle looks forward to building on back-to-back wins to start UAAP Season 80 with Ben Mbala finally joining the Green Archers.
La Salle coach Aldin Ayo said Mbala is expected to arrive anytime soon following the Cameroon's exit from title contention in the Fiba Afrobasket in which he played for his home country.
Ayo said Mbala is sure to play for the Green Archers against Adamson on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
"I think, as we speak, nagtatravel na 'yun," said Ayo. "He is on his way. Akala ko aabot sa laro at manonood. He will be here before Wednesday."
With their top star now set to return, the Green Archers hope to ride on the crest of their performance in the past two games that saw them win close matches, including a 115-109 win over National University on Saturday.
The La Salle mentor expects the team's performance will not be affected by the entry of Mbala.
"I always tell the players not to take anything away from basketball. Kung may parating, pandagdag na lang 'yan. Hindi puwedeng may darating tapos bababa kami. Maybe we are in this level but when Ben arrives, aangat na lang kami na kasama siya," Ayo said.
Ayo also commended his bigs for stepping up in Mbala's absence, mentioning the likes of Prince Rivero, Santi Santillan, Abu Tratter, and even Justin Baltazar.
Among the bigs, Santillan was the top performer based on statistics against NU when he had 13 points and 16 boards.
"Wala na kaming gagawing adjustments because hindi kami nag-adjust sa pagkawala niya.. Gusto namin, pagbalik niya, andar agad. I know Prince, Santi, and Balti will deliver. Ganun ang kumpiyansa ko, hindi lang sa bigs, but sa mga players ko," Ayo said.