Two-time UAAP Men’s Basketball Most Valuable Player Ben Mbala once again had himself a game for Cameroon.
However, it all went for naught, as he and his squad fell to Cote D’Ivoire, 74-82, to close out the first window in Group C action of the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket Qualifiers, Monday morning (Manila time) in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The 6-foot-8 Mbala had 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting from the field — 5-of-8 from the stripe — alongside 14 boards. The La Salle product also netted an efficiency rating of 18.
But Cameroon could not recover from a slow start that saw them fall behind, 19-30, to end the opening stanza.
Cameroon trailed by as much as 17 points, 29-46, late in the second quarter.
Behind Mbala, Cameroon still came within two points, 70-72, with 3:28 left. But an 8-2 spurt by Ivory Coast in the endgame sealed the deal.
Cameroon ended the opening window with a 2-1 slate.
Mbala followed up his 10-point, five-rebound, and four-steal outing versus Equatorial Guinea with a 13-point, 10-rebound performance in Cameroon’s 90-58 win over Guinea.
Mbala, who currently plays for CSP Limoges in the LNB Pro A, averaged 12.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game in the first window.
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