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Turkish clubs impressed with Ben Mbala, says Tab Baldwin

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Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Turkish clubs impressed with Ben Mbala, says Tab Baldwin ADMU Basketball DLSU News UAAP  UAAP Season 80 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 80 Tab Baldwin DLSU Men's Basketball Ben Mbala Ateneo Men's Basketball

Second-year Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles head coach Tab Baldwin was in no mood to give his thoughts about Game Two of the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Basketball Finals on Wednesday evening.

“I’m not going to answer questions about what are my thoughts on Game Two,” Baldwin said after Ateneo absorbed a 92-83 loss.

“You have a specific question and I’ll have a specific answer.”

One of the questions asked to the former Gilas head coach was about his thoughts about reigning Most Valuable Player Ben Mbala.

In his two years in the UAAP, Baldwin has faced the Cameroonian national team standout eight times. There were times were he was able to develop a scheme to limit Mbala, just like in Game One where the 6-foot-7 big man was limited to his UAAP career-low eight markers. Then there were times like in Game Two when Mbala was unstoppable.

After a horrid game last Saturday, Mbala was able to bounce back with 20 points on 9-for-15 shooting to go along with 16 rebounds and four blocks.

And Baldwin could not deny that Mbala is a top-tier talent.

“Ben’s a good player. Even in Game One, he showed good things,” said Baldwin, who holds a 3-5 win-loss record against La Salle.

“He’s a very very good player.”

A world traveler, Baldwin has developed connections with coaches from all around the world. According to him, some of his colleagues in Turkey have inquired to him about the prospect of bringing in Mbala.Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Turkish clubs impressed with Ben Mbala, says Tab Baldwin ADMU Basketball DLSU News UAAP  UAAP Season 80 Men's Basketball UAAP Season 80 Tab Baldwin DLSU Men's Basketball Ben Mbala Ateneo Men's Basketball

“I just was getting messages from a club in Turkey asking about him,” shared Baldwin, who coached Turkish club team Banvitspor back in the early 2000’s.

“I gave Ben a very good reference because I believe he deserves a very good reference.”

Even if Ateneo and La Salle are heated, age-long rivals, the 59-year-old tactician will not allow himself to not give Mbala a good reference as it would be an injustice not to do so.

“I would do that to any player who I think is an ounstanding player and Ben is one.”

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