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With Mbala back, Archers deadlier in win over Falcons

De La Salle University's Ben Mbala | Contributed Photo

MANILA, Philippines — Aldin Ayo’s marching orders were for the Green Archers to act as if Ben Mbala wasn’t absent in the past two games.

And that turned De La Salle University into a beast of a scoring machine in their tussle with Adamson University, making mincemeat of their foes, 85-73, Wednesday night at the MOA Arena.

With the reigning Most Valuable Player back in their fold, the Archers pounced on the Falcons early. Mbala, fresh from the 2017 Afrobasket in Senegal, tallied 10 in the opening salvo and then 11 again in the succeeding frame. He finished the game with 32 markers and 10 borads.

De La Salle continued to outscore Adamson in the third, 28-15. Their offense was just as potent when they opened the season versus Far Eastern University and when they played National University in their second game.

"Actually, I told the boys that act as if nothing happened — act as if Ben never left, act as if we played without Ben. But we know that when Ben was away, we have gained a lot as a team, and he also gained a lot as an individual player,” Ayo said of his prized import.

La Salle was able to widen the gap by as many as 24 points.

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And  if the game’s any indication, the Green Archers are much more lethal with the Cameroonian back in their lineup. And that should only excite Ayo and the La Sallian community and fans. Heck, even Mbala himself.

"The good thing is Ben is already here, we're already complete, and we can start moving forward, we can start working on our team chemistry, and working on our team, na sana doon sa mga importanteng sitwasyon, mag-peak kami,” Ayo said.

"The guys there are pros. some of them are ex-NBA players. They’re smart, they’re skilled. Their basketball IQs are really high. You gotta find a way to matchup and compete,” Mbala said of his overseas experience.

"And I’d like to say that I was able to learn a lot from them and also add a lot to my game — not only to my inside but also my outside game. I’m glad I was able to go there and experience that,” the Archer, who just outdid himself by posting his career-best, added.

Despite the statement win, Mbala also thinks there is more that could be eked out of his game and his team.“It’s the third game of the season and we still have a lot of time to work on our mistakes and find a way to improve and not commit during succeeding teams,” he said.

“For sure they will not be the only team to do presses full court. We just have to get ready for that,” Mbala continued.

"So it's just a matter of putting things together and (working) on it,” Ayo chimed in.

The reigning UAAP champs will get to know if their now-complete roster can extend their victorious ways when they take on the rejuvenated University of the Philippines this Saturday, again at the MOA Arena
 

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