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MACAU – Even outside the UAAP, Ben Mbala proves he is still reliable.
Mbala came through in the clutch to lift the Seoul Samsung Thunders to a gritty 84-82 triumph over the Fubon Braves in the opening day of the Asia League Terrific 12 here at the Studio City Event Center on Tuesday, September 18.
Playing in his first competitive game for the Thunders, the former two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player provided immediate impact, knocking down the game-winning layup at the buzzer to cap his 22-point and 11-rebound outing.
Free underneath the bucket off a pass from fellow import Glenn Cosey, Mbala layed it up just in the nick of time as Seoul rallied from 4 points down with 1:30 minutes left in the game.
Cosey finished with 28 points, 7 assists and 3 steals and sank the two crucial buckets that knotted the score at 82-all before delivering the assist to Mbala en route to the win.
Shaquille Keith paced the Braves with 23 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds but the team badly missed his presence down the stretch after he fouled out with more than 3 minutes remaining in the 4th.
Earlier, the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins banked on Markeith Cummings’ 30-point and 9-rebound outing to topple the Yulon Luxen Dinos, 84-72, in the tournament opener. – Rappler.com