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Kelra on ONIC’s win streak: ‘Matatawag kaming super losers, hindi super team’


Entering MPL Philippine Season 13, many considered the revamped ONIC Philippines roster a super team due to the players’ reputation as some of the most mechanically skilled in league history.

The Sonics lived up to pre-season expectations, but for goldlaner Duane “Kelra” Pillas, they’re not the super team the community considered them to be.

“Matatawag kaming super losers, hindi super team. Galing kami sa iba’t ibang team pero puro talo. Kaya sinabi kong super losers kasi puro paangat na lang kami. Di na kami bababa,” explained Kelra.

No one from the players up to the coaching staff has experienced a top-four finish in the league since Season 10. They either missed the playoffs or got eliminated in the play-ins.

The franchise-record win streak and the top spot in the standings are unfamiliar territories for almost everyone on the team, especially for coach Patrick “E2MAX” Caidic and Kelra, who were teammates since Season 7 with the now-defunct Execration squad and later with Smart Omega.

“Tuwang-tuwa ako kasi sa haba ng career ko, first time ko lang ‘to maexperience eh, kaso coach na ako. Pero okay lang, masaya naman ako na parte ako ng team. Sabi ko nga kanina nung nanalo kami, ‘Parang nananaginip lang ata tayo, coach (Ynot) ah’,” said E2MAX when asked how it feels to be on top of the standings.

“Magkasama kami ni Kelra dati pa tas di kami sanay na nasa winning team. Ngayon sobrang nakakaproud na napunta kami dito. Masaya ako sa bagong team namin, sa mga kasama namin, sa management, sa boss namin. Sa mga ginagawa namin, sobrang solid talaga ng mga katrabaho namin.”

Kelra had the same outlook coming from a team that became popular for their late runs season after season.

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“Medyo magaan ‘yung paghinga ngayong puro panalo. Kasi before sa team namin ni E2MAX, sobrang hirap talaga eh. Parang umaasa na lang kami sa miracle nung dati. Ngayon kasi ang goal na namin top 1 na. Dati kasi makapasok lang ng playoffs eh,” he said.

“Kaya ngayon sobrang tuwang-tuwa kami. Worth it lahat ng pagod namin.”

But ONIC isn’t about to relax after defeating every team via sweep in the MPL PH this season, as they still have grandiose goals.

The championship is one; another is setting a new record in the league.

“Gusto namin lagpasan ‘yung longest win streak sa MPL kaya mas lalo namin pagpupursigihan ‘yung goal na ‘yun,” claimed Kelra.

The longest win streak in MPL PH history is currently at 11 games, held by Blacklist International (Season 7) and ECHO (Season 12).

“Yung results ngayon, natutuwa kami kasi talagang pinagpaguran namin ‘to eh. Kumbaga di naman ‘to dahil inexpect lang namin na malakas kami. Tinrabaho talaga namin,” E2MAX said.

Head coach Tony “Ynot” Senedrin opened up during the live interview in the MPL PH broadcast that there are days when ONIC decided to skip their days off to better prepare for their upcoming matches.

“Yung mindset ng players namin ngayon, iba talaga. Kasi galing kami sa mga talunang team eh,” added E2MAX.

“Yung pinanggalingan namin, ‘yun ‘yung pinaghuhugutan namin kaya nung nagsama-sama kami, mas matindi ‘yung mindset namin tsaka ‘yung hugot namin na manalo talaga this season. ‘Yung natutunan namin sa mga kanya-kanyang team namin, pinagsama-sama lang namin. Kaya siguro nagreresult ng panalo.”

The former midlaner-turned-coach is confident that his team can still reach greater heights with their mentality and daily approach to the game.

“Ang mindset lang namin talagang puro paangat lang. Improvements everyday, ano pa ‘yung pwede iimprove ng team. Ano pa ‘yung pwede naming pagkukulang. San kami pwede mag-adapt. Kasi pagdating sa potential, sobrang taas talaga.”

So far, the ‘loser mentality’ within ONIC has translated into the hottest streak with seven consecutive sweeps.

Written By

A Bacolodnon who loves basketball, chess, and esports.


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