M5 reps AP.Bren and Blacklist International Fulfilled by S12 Grand Final
The MPL Philippines Season 12 closed out with a grand final match between Blacklist International and AP.Bren last Sunday, October 29, 2023 at the EVM Convention Center in Quezon City.
The best-of-seven grand final between the two teams concluded swiftly in favor of AP.Bren, leaving Blacklist with little room to answer. The series ended 4-1 with AP.Bren EXP Laner David Charles “FlapTzy” Canon being awarded the Finals MVP.
Blacklist International and AP.Bren’s stellar performance during the season and the playoffs hails them as the representatives for the upcoming M5 World Championship to be held in the Philippines.
AP Bren Hits Two Achievements with One Ducky
This was the debut season of AP.Bren following its rebranding from Bren Esports. Under their old mantle, the organization has claimed multiple decorations in the MLBB scene, including the M2 World Championship.
FlapTzy said his recognition was unexpected and he presumed that one of his teammates would instead get the MVP. “Trabaho lang po kasi ang ginagawa ko […] binibigyan ko sila ng space. Para sakin, ‘di ko deserve. Deserve ng isa sa kanila.”
“I’m just doing my job […] I give [my teammates] space. For me, I don’t deserve [the Finals MVP award.] They deserve it.”
The same day, AP.Bren coach Francis “Ducky” Glindro became the newest inductee into the Hall of Legends. His reaction to being dubbed “Legenducky” and season champion in one day? Unexplainable, according to him. “Ang hirap i-explain eh, kasi we got two achievements in just one day. My Hall of Legends [induction] is actually an effect of my players’ hard work kasi ‘di ko naman ‘yun ma-a-achieve nang solo ako.”
“It’s hard to explain because we got two achievements in just one day. My Hall of Legends [induction] is actually an effect of my players’ hard work because I would not have achieved that solo.
“I’m very thankful I have these guys with me […] hopefully magkasama pa din kami sa mga susunod na tournaments. Sana mag-tuloy tuloy yung success namin,” coach Ducky addressed his players. “Continue the hard work and pahalagahan niyo sarili niyo.”
“I’m very thankful I have these guys with me […] hopefully, we’re still together in future tournaments. I hope our success continues. Continue the hard work and treasure yourselves.”
Blacklist International’s Wins Amongst Losses
Blacklist lost cornerstone members Jonmar “OhMyV33NUS” Villaluna and Danerie James “Wise” Del Rosario this season as they became inactive, and the team moved to find their identity without the duo. Despite their loss in the final, Blacklist’s consensus was clear: they take pride in their progress as a team.
Retroactively looking at the season, BLCK coach Aniel “Master the Basics” Jiandani says he’s incredibly proud of the team. “Konti lang ‘yung mag-sasabing aabot kami ng grand finals nang ganito yung lineup – para kaming bagong team. Para kaming bagong unit pero umabot kami [sa grand finals]. Sobrang proud ako na kahit ‘di man kami nag-champion, hindi masakit kasi binigay talaga nila ‘yung best nila. Wala akong doubt sa kanilang lahat, wala akong regrets.”
“[At the start of the season] not many would have said that we would make it to the grand finals with this lineup – we’re like a new team. We’re a new unit, but we made it to the grand finals. I’m very proud that even if we didn’t win, it didn’t hurt because the players gave their best. I don’t doubt any of them, and I don’t have regrets.”
Ang goal talaga namin [dito sa grand final] is ibigay namin lahat, gawin namin lahat ng options, lahat ng bala ilabas na namin,” coach MTB spoke about their 10-man unit. “Ibig sabihin, kung gusto namin maiba yung tempo, katulad ng ginawa ng ECHO, p’wede kami mag-sub out kahit sino. Lahat ng [members ng] second unit namin, alam ko ready sila pumasok anytime.”
“Our goal here in the grand final was to give our all, exhaust all options, reveal all our cards. If we wanted to change the tempo, similar to what ECHO did, we could sub out anybody. I know all of our second unit’s members were ready to play anytime.”
BLCK gold laner Kiel “Oheb” Soriano echoed his coach’s sentiments. “Sobrang satisfied ako sa buong team namin… proud ako sa’ming lahat. Sobrang laki talaga ng in-improve namin, maski kami hindi namin in-expect na aabot kami sa grand finals. Kahit first runner-up lang nakuha namin, sobrang saya pa din.”
“I’m very satisfied with my team, I’m proud of us. Our improvements were massive and we didn’t expect to make it to the grand finals. Even if we finished as runner-ups, we’re still very happy.”
Fans of Blacklist International and AP.Bren can watch them in action in the upcoming ONE Esports MPL Invitational 2023 starting on November 15th and the M5 World Championship beginning December 2nd, 2023.
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