LA Salle star slotman Ben Mbala said on Friday the uncertainty of his future in the UAAP prompted him to look for greener pastures - and eventually join Liga Americas side Fuerza Regia in Mexico.
The 6-foot-8 forward said he wasn’t inclined to wait for the league board to rule on his eligibility for next season based on the revived “seven-years-out-of-high-school” rule.
If revived next year, the rule, which was suspended the past two seasons, will make the Cameroonian slotman ineligible to play for the Green Archers,
Mbala felt things weren’t going to go in his favor with regards to the said rule considering his history in the league, where he had to spend an extra year of residency after playing in an unsanctioned league.
The collegiate league also extended the residency for foreign student athletes to two years upon his arrival.
“The uncertainty of playing next year especially knowing my history with the league," Mbala, who played for Southwestern University in Cebu before moving to La Salle, said when asked what prompted his move to Mexico.
"I just got used to things not going my way. I really expected them to bring that rule just to make (me) ineligible,” he added.
Mbala stated the timing of the announcement of the seven-year rule's revival, which came after reports said he still had one more year of eligibility left with La Salle, gave him an inkling of what’s to come.
“Yeah I definitely did. Especially that they brought out the rule and made public a couple of days after reports said I will be coming back.”
However, it didn’t make leaving La Salle any easier, said Mbala, especially after the Green Archers' loss to arch-rival Ateneo in the finals.
“La Salle is family to me. It is never easy to leave the people you love,” said Mbala.
The Cameroonian also shared that there were other offers to play in other parts of the world, but he ultimately decided that playing out the remainder of the season in the Liga Americas would be good for him and his career.
“Here, I am expecting myself to grow as a player and always keep improving."