Ben Mbala feels he could've done better defensive job on prolific Alvin Pasaol
Alvin Pasaol went 8 for 19 but Ben Mbala believes he could have held the burly UE forward to lower number. Marlo Cueto

BEN Mbala said he was not satisfied with how he defended Alvin Pasaol in the La Salle's grudge match against University of the East on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 80 basketball tournament.

Pasaol managed to score 23 this time after a 49-point performance in their first match, a huge cut but still a little too much as far as La Salle’s Cameroonian reinforcement is concerned.

“I felt like I could have done a better job,” said Mbala. “But we got the W and that’s fine with me.”

Pasaol was guarded for much of the match by Mbala, who had also been assigned to smaller guys including Paul Desiderio of University of the Philippines.

The job against the burly Pasaol provided a unique challenge for the 6-foot-8 Mbala.

“Pasaol has no conscience. Even if he is wide open or not, he will take shots. You can’t predict when he is going to attack or drive or shoot,” said Mbala.

Mbala said La Salle coach Aldin Ayo told him to be on his toes against Pasaol, who made eight of his 19 shots from the field.

“Just stay in front and try your best to give him the harder shot you could give him,” said Mbala.

Mbala, however, admitted he is getting the hang of guarding smaller guys thanks to his training in between games.

“It’s getting easier for me, I won’t like. I’ve been practicing on my quickness and how to stay in front of smaller guys. It’s really easy… It’s getting easier and easier. My body is better because I’ve been running since coach told me to guard smaller guys.

“But I have a lot of things to work on,” said Mbala.

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