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Sports

MPL PH: Blacklist relishes return to top after 'disaster' in Season 9

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
MPL PH: Blacklist relishes return to top after 'disaster' in Season 9
Blacklist International celebrates after their 2-0 win over Echo to cap off the regular season of the MPL PH Season 10 on Monday, October 3.
MPL PH

MANILA, Philippines – After much adversity, Blacklist International is back on top of the standings of the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League-Philippines (MPL PH) Season 10 in the nick of time.

The two-time MPL PH champions clawed their way back to the summit despite a tumultuous regular season with a 2-0 sweep of Echo in their final game before the all-important playoffs on Monday.

Echo was erstwhile the top team heading into their match-up, but Blacklist came out with a masterclass, with Danerie James "Wise" Del Rosario and Johnmar "OhMyV33nus" Villaluna wielding their signature heroes in Barats and Estes to blow their opponents out of the water.

Banishing the ghost of Season 9, where the then-defending champions were unable to climb even into the playoffs as Wise and OhMyV33nus skipped the tournament that time, Blacklist head coach Kristoffer Ed "BON CHAN" Ricaplaza raved over their position.

"It's happy to be back dahil malungkot yung [Season 9], nakakalungkot lalo't di kami umabot ng playoffs. And sobrang namiss namin yung ganitong pakiramdam na, although nagstruggle kami sa early part ng regular season ay nabawi naman namin sa huli na kami pa rin yung nakakuha ng Top 1," Coach BON CHAN said after their win over Echo on Monday.

"[Y]un yung usual na nangyayari dati nung Season 7, Season 8, sa madaling paraan. Pero dito [sa S9], napakhirap, pero nakuha parin namin. Kaya sobrang saya, sobrang fulfilling," he added.

Though considered favorites anew as Wise and OhMyV33nus returned from their hiatus, Blacklist struggled — particularly in Week 3 of the regular season where they lost all their matches.

The M3 champions lost 0-2 to ONIC and dropped a 1-2 decision to Echo.

But the challenges wouldn't end there as they also absorbed losses to Smart Omega and Bren Esports in the coming weeks.

Still, the MPL PH powerhouses were able to recover in time, even with a loss to RSG just last Sunday where they dropped the match, 1-2.

Though facing tall odds against Echo, which had beat them once before earlier in the season, the fan favorites came out with the clutch victory to edge their rivals for the top spot.

Kiel Calvin "OHEB" Soriano, who had experienced firsthand the struggles of Blacklist in Season 9, also mirrored his coach's sentiments and was relieved to be back where his team had grown used to be at in the MPL.

"Sobrang saya kasi ‘di namin nadala yung last season," said OHEB.

"Tapos sobrang saya sa pakiramdam na yung ganitong pakiramdam ulit na naranasan namin nung Season 7, Season 8, kasi nung Season 9, sobrang bagong experience yung nangyari sa amin parang disaster, sobrang saya," he concluded.

Blacklist begins its quest to reclaim the MPL PH crown on October 21 in the Upper Bracket playoffs in a best-of-five affair. The team is aiming for its third MPL PH championship in four years.

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