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Ben Mbala’s return lessens pressure on Aljun Melecio



Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Ben Mbala's return lessens pressure on Aljun Melecio Basketball DLSU News UAAP  UAAP Season 80 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 80 DLSU Men's Basketball Ben Mbala Aljun Melecio Aldin Ayo

During the first two games of the De La Salle University Green Archers, sophomore guard Aljun Melecio was his team’s main gunner. In that span, the 5-foot-7 guard jacked up 41 shot attempts to average 24.5 points.

But when the reigning Most Valuable Player Ben Mbala returned to the Green Archers’ fold Wednesday night, the UAAP Season 79 Rookie of the Year took a back seat.

In La Salle’s 85-73 win against Adamson, Melecio attempted just seven shots and scored just two points.

The 18-year-old though had no qualms about his outing, saying that having Mbala back was like having their identity back.

“Yung responsibility ko naman, nandoon pa rin,” Melecio said as he logged in 32 minutes against Adamson.

“Mas lesser lang siguro yung load kasi Ben’s already here and we all know that he’s the strength of our team.”

Second-year La Salle head coach Aldin Ayo though was quick to state that the off game the rest of the Green Archers played was a result of the team not sticking to his game plan.

“The only problem was that we were not able to execute, especially in the second half,” Ayo said as Adamson was able to slice a once 24 point-lead down to as low as seven points.

“It’s not about Ben, it’s about the players who did not stick to the game plan.”

Melecio though remains confident that they can get their act together as their goal remains one, to defend their crown.

“We just need to play the game and get as much wins as we can.”