By: Jan Marcus Montevirgen
Master the Basics and Blacklist International defied all odds for two years.
Blacklist International, despite missing two of their top stars, Johnmar “OhMyV33NUS” Villaluna and Danerie “Wise” Del Rosario, still proved their doubters wrong after an impressive finish in MPL Philippines Season 12.
It was a season to remember for the Blacklist International squad. The odds were stacked against them, and the predictions were not in their favor, but they defied all expectations.
Coach Aniel “Master the Basics” Jiandani was nothing but proud of what the team achieved this season, expressing his satisfaction regarding the team’s performance and stating that he had no regrets with how things ended up.
Blacklist International, against all odds, managed to make its way to the grand finals after defeating ECHO in the lower bracket finals but lost to AP Bren in the finale.
“Sa run namin, sobrang proud ako sa kanila. Siguro konti lang yung nagsasabing aabot kami ng grand finals ng ganitong lineup. Para kaming bagong team. Galing pahinga si Hadi, galing pahinga si Oheb, tapos mayroon kaming mga rookies since season 11 sina Renejay at Edward,” said Master the Basics.
“As in para kaming bagong unit, pero umabot kami sa ganito kaya sobrang proud ako na kahit hindi kami nagchampion, mapapansin niyo na hindi masakit kasi binigay nila talaga yung best nila. Wala talaga akong doubts sa kanilang lahat, wala akong regrets, talagang sobrang proud ako sa kanila,” he continued.
The season had been a rollercoaster ride filled with ups and downs. The Codebreakers faced strong opponents, many of whom had been favored to dominate, but Blacklist International stood their ground, surprising everyone who had underestimated them.
“Ako, sobrang satisfied. No regrets talaga. Kasi hindi kami ine-expect, sa lahat ng predictions, hindi nakikita na aabot sa finals yung Blacklist. Dalawang season niyo na kaming pinepredict na hindi kami aabot ng grand finals pero andito kami,” said the assistant-turned-head coach.
Master the Basics said that he is very happy with the maturity showed by his players, particularly Stephen “Sensui” Castillo and Renejay “RENEJAY” Barcarse, who both came out of their respective shells and played a pivotal role in the team’s run.
“Siguro sobrang proud ako sa maturity nilang lima, maturity nilang sampu kung tutuusin. Kasi maraming rookies at meron matagal nang katulad nila Sensui at Renejay pero iba pa rin talaga yung veteran nasa league nag champion na,” said MTB.
“Dito kase, wala pang totally na leader, ang goal namin is gawin silang leader lahat. Sobrang proud ako kase kahit na wala na sila sa Blacklist alam kong kaya na nila kase sobrang matured na sila,” he concluded.