Ben Mbala shows what he can do for La Salle with 'monster' MVP performance in Davao invitational
Davao mayor Rodrigo Duterte makes the ceremonial toss for the 2016 Araw ng Davao Basketball Tournament. Jumping are Ben Mbala of De La Salle (CMO-TRMH) and University of the Visayas' Backtiero Siackor. Also in photo are CMO-TRMH co-owner Glenn Escandor (left, behind Duterte) and SBP 11 regional head Boy Cua (right). Photo courtesy of by Boy Lim

LA Salle big man Ben Mbala issued a strong warning to other UAAP opponents with his monstrous performance in the Archers championship run during the week-long tournament of the 2016 Araw ng Davao Basketball Invitationals. 

For four games in a short tournament, the 6-foot-9 Cameroonian center tabbed by La Salle from Southwestern University in Cebu, averaged 30.5 points a game for the Green Archers, who donned the colors of City Mayor’s Office-The Royal Mandaya Hotel (CMO-TRMH), en route to leading his team to the title.

He had nights of 23, 25, and 36 in the eliminations and a tournament-high 38 in the finals, which earned for him the MVP award. 

Mbala feasted on alley-oops, with one particular rim-rattler that wowed the crowd.

“It’s different. It’s not a lob pass, it’s a bullet alley-oop pass. That’s more difficult to catch and slam,” said Glenn Escandor, co-manager of the CMO-TRMH squad.

“The guy will be a factor in the UAAP,” he added.

The La Salle big man also proved steady from the free throw line, hitting 80 percent of his shots from the stripe. 

The Green Archers, steered by new coach Aldin Ayo with assistant coaches Siot Tangquincen and Glen Capacio, won the title, 80-61, over defending champion Goldstar Hardware which had ex-PBA players Jojo Tangkay, Marlon Basco, and Pong Escobal in the lineup along with African reinforcement 6-9 Steve Akomo.

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