2-time MVP Mbala turns Eagles blue

La Salle's Ben Mbala bags UAAP MVP award for second straight season

2-time MVP Mbala turns Eagles blue

Green Archers is on the verge of bagging his second consecutive UAAP Most Valuable Player honor.

And even the near flawless elimination round campaign of Ateneo de Manila could help Thirdy Ravena in giving the Cameroonian a serious challenge for the award.

The Cameroonian standout, who missed the first two games of the season after playing for his national team in the Fiba Afrobasket, averaged 26.0 points, 13.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 2.5 blocks for La Salle in the elimination round.

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Ateneo's Thirdy Ravena came in at second place with 66.5 points.

Mbala's season-long brilliance was in full display last Sunday, when he led the Archers to a 79-76 win over the Ateneo Blue Eagles with 28 markers laced with 19 rebounds - the second highest this year - plus six steals and six blocks, both matching the season-best marks.

La Salle finished second in the elimination phase and will meet Adamson University in the Final Four stage on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.

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National U's Jayjay Alejandro finished third with 63.8571 SPs while University of the East's Alvin Pasaol, owner of a 49-point performance in the first round, wound up fourth with 63.4286 SPs.

Foreign student-athletes Papi Sarr (63.15 SPs) of Adamson University, Issa Gaye (57.57) of NU and Steve Akomo (56.76) of UST were ahead of Rivero, but did not make the Mythical Five because they play the same position as Mbala. Top seed Ateneo and No. 4 Far Eastern University (FEU) will face off on Sunday in the other semifinals pairing also at the Big Dome.

He joined Jun Limpot (1989, 1990, 1992), Mark Telan (1996 and 1997), Don Allado (1998 and 1999) in the elite group of Green Archers who won back-to-back MVP plums in the UAAP.

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Juan Gomez de Liano of the University of the Philippines will be named Rookie of the Year after finishing 14th in the SPs race with 46.69 SPs (11.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists).

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