It’s the 'Pandamentals': Coach Panda keys dominant RSG run

Michelle Lojo - Philstar.com
Itâs the 'Pandamentals': Coach Panda keys dominant RSG run

MANILA, Philippines — RSG's performance in the recently concluded Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League-Philippines (MPL-PH) Season 9 was certainly nothing short of stellar as they ended the regular season at No. 1, compiling an 11-3 win-loss record, including eight sweeps. 

They then went on an almost perfect run in the playoffs, sweeping ONIC PH and TNC 3-0, and only dropped a single game in their Grand Finals match against Smart Omega.

So how did last season’s lower ranked-team become "Kingslayers" and eventually rule Season 9?

Casters Manjean Faldas, Wolf and Sh1n Boo aptly described it while commenting on a team fight and turtle take by RSG during the 6th minute of game number two of the Grand Finals: "Pandamentals", none other than Coach Brian "Panda" Lim.

It's no secret that Lim is one of a kind. Besides winning a 2019 Southeast Asian games gold medal in Mobile Legends, he now has two MPL PH crowns under his belt after previously winning with ArkAngel back in Season Three.

RSG saw a few changes coming into Season 9. First is the inclusion of new member Dylan "Light" Catipon from TNC and the change for Eman “EMANN” Sangco switching from Jungler to Gold Lane, a move pushed by Coach Panda.

"The Gold Laner that I want is someone insanely mechanically skilled and also who has very good instinct and number three, who also has good communication skills, and I thought why not Eman." Coach Panda recalled as they tried it during the Mobile Legends Professional League Invitational (MPLI).

In a post-match interview, regular season MVP Dylan "Light" Catipon shared how grateful he was to be under Coach Panda while the coach himself proclaimed that Catipon was a better player than him.

"Light is one of the very few players who has a very good timing, to know when to play aggressive or when to play defensive," said Coach Panda.

As for his coaching style, Jonard "Demonkite" Cedrix Caranto shares that Coach Panda is the most hardworking coach he's had the privilege of being under and has helped in his development as a player.

"Nung nasa amateur ako noon, libreng-libre ako sa kung anung gusto kong gawin. Nung dumating ako sa RSG, sobrang naging disciplined ako. Dalawa pa lang naging coach ko, pero siya yung pinaka hardworking, kahit pagod na siya, nagrereview pa rin siya."

Sangco and Catipon echoed their teammate's sentiments on discipline, and how Coach Panda works hard and how it influences the team to work hard themselves.

Veteran Arvie "Aquaaa" Calderon, having failed to clinch the crown since Season Five, shared how Coach Panda's belief in him helped his grown as a player. "Si Coach Panda po yung sobrang tiwala sa akin. Kahit anu po yung gawin ko, parang tiwala siya, wala siyang negative insight sa akin. Sobrang laki lang ng trust niya sa akin. Sobrang dami kong natutunan kay Coach Panda [tulad ng] experience, fundamentals. Lahat po ng sinasabi niya, lahat ng tinuturo niya, inaadapt ko po. Sobrang tiwala ko rin sa kanya. Love na love ko po si Coach Panda."

But though the players and casters attribute RSG's success to Coach Panda, he believes the team is the one lifting him up to success.

"I'm always ready to lose. It's not ok for me but I'm always ready in that mindset. But with this team, I feel like, if I fail, this team will carry me. Even though I mess up with the draft, which they always say I do [laughs], or even though I make mistakes this team is ready to play their own game, their A-game, and I'm very grateful for that. It's not only me leading the team but all these players are leading me also."




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