ECHO head coach Archie “Tictac” Reyes said sitting out star roamer Tristan “Yawi” Cabrera in their opening game against RRQ Hoshi in the M4 World Championship on Monday night was a team decision.
Yawi, who was previously in a relationship with National University libero Jennifer Nierva, was involved in an alleged cheating scandal last January 1.
“Yung kay Yawi is ano yun, team decision yun,” said Tictac right after ECHO took out former mentor Michael “Arcadia” Bocado’s RRQ Hoshi in their group stage matchup.
Tictac said that the team chose to set the issue aside and focus on their on-going campaign in the fourth edition of the M-series.
“Sa amin ano, wala namang problema. ‘Di ba may issue na nangyari? So wala, set aside namin yun kasi lahat, lahat ng teammates (niya) naka-focus sa M4,” added the player-turned-coach.
With Yawi sidelined, veteran roamer and former MPL PH MVP Jaypee “Jaypee” Dela Cruz seized the starting role and definitely made a huge impact in the team’s exhilarating victory over the home team.
Jaypee played Khufra in the 18-minute match and finished with a game-high 14 assists to go along with a kill and a death to lead ECHO. Also stepping up in Yawi’s absence is rookie Alston “Sanji” Pabico, who had eight kills and eight assists against one death in the 18-7 win.
For his part, Jaypee said that he just made sure to embrace the opportunity and help his team get the win over RRQ Hoshi.
“Masaya kasi nakapaglaro ako dito and nabigyan ako ng chance. Nung reserve ako, talagang nagpapractice pa rin ako kasi two teams kami. Tapos nung nakapaglaro ako dito, talagang todo bigay na kasi minsan lang din ‘to mangyari,” Jaypee said.
The team did not disclose Yawi’s availability in the next match.
ECHO takes on Occupy Thrones (4:00 PM) and RSG SG (6:00 PM) on Wednesday.