By Jerome Lagunzad
Plans are already in place for Ben Mbala’s future replacement at UAAP powerhouse La Salle.
Unimpeachable sources told Manila Bulletin/Tempo that the Green Archers team management has expressed strong interest in acquiring Diliman College’s prized reinforcement Adama Diakhite who’s making big waves in the Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) so far.
Arguably the most talented foreign student-athlete outside of the country’s top two collegiate tourneys, the 6-foot-9 Diakhite has readily lived up to his lofty billing, averaging 21 points, 12.5 rebounds, 4.5 blocks and 1.0 steal while leading the Blue Dragons to a quick 2-0 start.
The Senegalese big man, who just turned 20 last April, initially made heads turn during Diliman College’s title run in the Fr. Martin’s Cup last June when he held his ground against University of Santo Tomas’ Cameroon counterpart Steve Akomo and University of the Philippines’ blue-chip recruit Bright Akhuetie.
Diakhite’s strong performance certainly caught the attention of several UAAP schools, according to Blue Dragons mentor Rensy Bajar.
“Marami namang schools ang nanliligaw na sa kanya. Bukod sa La Salle, nagparamdam na rin ang Ateneo at Adamson,” he admitted. “Buti nga bago magsimula ‘tong UCBL (Season 2), nasa amin pa si Adama.”