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Ben Mbala’s miserable Game 1 performance leaves odor that could linger

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UAAP Season 80 MVP Ben Mbala was a shadow of himself in Game 1 of the best-of-three finals which the Ateneo Blue Eagles won, 76-70.

With a headband or no headband, the results were the same for Mbala who averaged 30.4 points and 11.8 rebounds in the regular season.
Mbala just stank in all of the 32 minutes he stayed on the floor.

Mbala scored only eight points on seven attempts in the game. He lacked the aggressiveness as he only made six free throw attempts (he made half) throughout and lookined like just one of the thousands of watchers at the MOA arena.

Mbala lost his killer instinct even though the only person who could guard him one-on-one, Chiz Ikeh, played only 22 minutes as the Blue Eagle was in foul trouble throughout the game.

Ikeh fouled out with several minutes to go in the fourth and Mbala still failed to dominate although credit Isaac Go for holding the fort down the stretch despite having four fouls.

It was undoubtedly Mbala’s worst game as an Archer according UAAP’s Pong Ducanes who noted that his points output was a career low and the first time that the Cameroonian failed to score double figures in the UAAP.

Mbala’s lack of effort can be filtered down to one play in the third quarter when he pounded the ball inside until the clock ran out.

A visibly angry La Salle coach Aldin Ayo benched Mbala for the rest of the third quarter.

Mbala’s game-worn socks probably smells better than him right now that even a championship might not even be enough to silence doubts on why he failed to show up in Game 1.

This is what happens when you put all your marbles on one player no matter if he’s beast. Just look at NCAA MVP CJ Perez and the marooned Lyceum Pirates.