BEN Mbala’s imposing presence inside is giving Jeron Teng a lot of confidence to take - and make - his outside shots.
Teng exploded for 28 points as the Green Archers overcame the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, 83-78, in the two teams' season debut in the UAAP men's basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The fifth-year La Salle star admitted having more confidence with his shots - heretofore the weakest part of his game - with Mbala underneath to fight for the rebound in case of a miss.
“Kapag tumitira ka, kapag alam mo na may Ben Mbala, kumpiyansa ka lang. Pupulutin niya ‘yung bola,” Teng said.
Teng shot 11-of-21 from the field, matching the season-high in scoring made by Jerrick Ahanmisi of Adamson during opening day on Sunday.
And the presence of Mbala helped Teng’s cause with the Cameroonian big man grabbing 23 rebounds in the contest along with four blocks.
“Si coach, binibigyan kami ng confidence to shoot. Knowing that we have good rebounders, even though minalas si Ben sa first game niya, he really dominated the rebounding category,” said Teng.