THE news that he has won a second consecutive UAAP MVP award barely got La Salle’s Ben Mbala excited as he stressed that his number one priority remains defending the men’s basketball title that the Green Archers hold.
Even as he missed La Salle’s first two games due to his commitment to the Cameroonian national team, Mbala was still named MVP in runaway fashion as he amassed a total of 96.5833 statistical points, beating Ateneo’s Thirdy Ravena by a wide margin.
For the season, the 6-foot-8 recruit from Southwestern University in Cebu averaged 26 points, 13.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.5 blocked shots for a La Salle squad that finished with a 12-2 record in the elimination round, good for the second seed in the Final Four.
Mbala, however, said he has bigger fish to fry with another UAAP title in his sights.
“It feels nice but that’s not my main objective. My eyes are on the championship,” he said.
Asked if winning MVP yet again was one of his goals heading to this season, Mbala proved his sentiments were no lip service as he voiced out his conviction to winning a second straight championship for La Salle.
“The MVP? Not really. It was and has always been the championship,” said Mbala regarding his goals for UAAP’s 80th season.
With the much-improved Adamson Soaring Falcons standing in their way in the semifinals on Saturday, Mbala remarked that he is anticipating a rugged game but feels confident they would still prevail if they stick to the gameplan head coach Aldin Ayo has laid out for them.
“It will be a very physical game. They are a very organized team and they like to execute but if we just stick to our game plan then I am sure we can pull it off,” Mbala stated.