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La Salle’s Ben Mbala was declared yesterday as the UAAP Most Valuable Player, becoming the first foreigner in 35 years to win the prestigious award.
The big man from Cameroon compiled 92.4286 Statistical Points, way ahead of compatriot Papi Sarr of Adamson to claim the league’s most coveted individual honor.
Mbala averaged 20.6 points, 16.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.4 blocks as the Green Archers topped the elims in dominating fashion with a 13-1 record.
The last time an import claimed the MVP plum was back in 1981, when American center Anthony Williams gave Far Eastern University its third straight crown via a 12-game sweep.
Incidentally, La Salle assistant coach Glenn Capacio that links to Williams and Mbala, being a former player of that 1981 FEU squad.
Sarr was a distant second after posting 69.8571 SPs and helping Adamson secure its first Final Four berth since 2011.
Mbala is set to receive the award before one of the games of the league’s best-of-three title series.