Ben Mbala ready to take on PBA bigs when La Salle meets pros in tune-ups, says coach Ayo
La Salle coach Aldin Ayo has full confidence in Ben Mbala holding his ground against PBA players. Jerome Ascano

LA Salle coach Aldin Ayo believes Ben Mbala can hold his ground against battle-tested PBA stars when the planned tune-up games between the Green Archers and teams in the pro league push through.

Ayo is planning to test his squad against PBA teams, particularly with GlobalPort as well as those under the San Miguel Corporation wing in San Miguel, Barangay Ginebra, and Star, as part of La Salle's thorough preparation for UAAP Season 79. 

The La Salle coach is especially confident that Mbala, who averaged 21.9 points, 15.1 rebounds in the Filoil tournament en route to winning the MVP and top defender awards, can handle himself against bigger, stronger, even craftier PBA players with what he's seen on the floor as well as what he's heard about the Cameroonian center's feat before transferring to the Green Archers.

“Before kinuha ng La Salle si Ben, ewan ko kung ano nakalaban niya noon. Umiskor siya ng 30 o 40 points kalaban mga PBA players. Nung nasa Cebu pa siya noon,” said Ayo.

With Mbala's marked improvement since moving to La Salle, Ayo doesn’t see any reason why 'Big Ben' will not be up to the task in manning the La Salle frontcourt against PBA bigs.

“Mas lalo na ‘yung ngayon na wala siyang ginagawa kundi magtrabaho nang magtrabaho,” he added.

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