Ben Mbala rues Archers’ failure to stay focused in endgame: ‘We just didn't play mature basketball’
"We are not a defensive-minded team we used to be last year. That's something that we need to change," says Ben Mbala. Marlo Cueto

BEN Mbala says the Archers didn't play like themselves as they fell to their archrival Blue Eagles on Sunday to end the first round of the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament.

The Green Archers appeared on the verge of pulling off a win but made a big mistake in the endgame after Matt Nieto deflected an inbound pass that led to the third-year point guard nailing two free throws for the victory.

Mbala was very disappointed with the crucial miscue that resulted in their second loss in seven games.

"Despite the fact that we were able to get back in the game and get the lead, for the last few seconds of the game, we just didn't play mature basketball by turning the ball over and fouling them," Mbala said.

"We really played poorly and they got the last second shot. We paid the price. When it's Ateneo-La Salle, you can't afford to do things like that," Mbala said.

Mbala also said the Green Archers are not the defensive team that they used to be, and that was evident when Ateneo hit nine triples including seven in the first half.

"Ateneo was really hot. They made seven (threes) in the first half. We have to stick to our game plan and continue executing. That is why we were able to get back in the game."

Mbala added: "We are not a defensive-minded team we used to be last year. That's something that we need to change."

The good thing is that La Salle still has the time for adjustments as the Green Archers enter the second round with a 5-2 win-loss record.

"It's only the first round. There is still a lot of time to work on our chemistry especially on defense," said Mbala.

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