UAAP board bars Ben Mbala from playing for La Salle due to 'ligang labas' violation
La Salle recruit Ben Mbala fell foul of the UAAP's residency rules when he saw action in an unsanctioned tournament in General Santos City in January. Dante Peralta

IT'S final: Ben Mbala can't play for the De La Salle Green Archers this season.

The UAAP board on Monday ruled the 6-5 Cameroonian student athlete is ineligible to play for the Green Archers this season after playing in a league in General Santos City in March in violation of the college league's residency rules.

The league made the decision to bar Mbala from playing for the Green Archers during a board meeting hosted by the University of the Philippines, this season's host school, where the screening of players' eligibility was done.

Sources said the issue came down to a vote which La Salle lost, 4-2, with one abstention.

[See La Salle set to plead case of Ben Mbala amid residency row]

Mbala, a transferee from Southwestern University of Cebu, fell foul of the league's residency rules when he played in the Pacman Cup tournament in General Santos City last January.

League rules bar players undergoing residency from playing in unsanctioned tournaments.

League sources had previously told that De La Salle would plead the case on the premise that Mbala didn't receive any compensation for the Pacman Cup appearance.

They Said It!

Rules are rules. Good job UAAP board." - jhuminen

The violation happened on Mbala's second year of residency with the Archers, meaning he will have to sit out another season before becoming eligible to play in the league in the 2016 season.

The decision comes as a big blow for La Salle, which has a gaping hole in the frontline following the graduation of Norbert Torres and the decision of Arnold Van Opstal to skip his final year with the school.

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