MANILA—Sibol is assured of a podium finish in the Southeast Asian Games Mobile Legends: Bang Bang tournament after defeating Vietnam 2-0 in the lower bracket semifinals in San Juan on Friday.
Sibol’s ML:BB team — bannered by Kenneth Jiane "Kenji" Villa, Karl Gabriel "KarlTzy" Nepomuceno, Carlito "Ribo" Ribo, Jeniel "Haze" Bata-anon, Angelo Kyle "Pheww" Arcangel, Allan Sancio "Lusty" Castromayor, and Jason Rafael "Jay" Torculas — is already a lock for at least a bronze.
Despite Vietnam banning some of Sibol’s signature players, the Philippines still dominated, drawing first blood in an 11-minute match.
Miscommunication and Vietnam countering the Philippines’ tank Baxia (played by Bata-Anon) got in the way of Sibol early in Game 2 but Sibol’s Tank-Mage Esmeralda (played by Castromayor) proved to be the turning point as they completed the sweep and barged into the lower bracket finals.
“ ’Yung kalaban namin, pang-kontra sa tank namin (noong second match) kaya nahirapan kami,” Castromayor said.
“Naghintay lang din kami na magkamali ang Vietnam para makabawi kami.”
(Our opponent had answers against our tank, that’s why we had a hard time. To make up for it we waited for Vietnam to make an error to get the upper hand.)
The Philippines will get a day of rest before the lower bracket finals, where the hosts will face a Malaysian squad reeling from a 0-2 sweep against Indonesia earlier in the day.
With that result, Indonesia booked the first ticket to the SEA Games finals.
Indonesia, parading mostly players coming off a title win in the MLBB M1 World Championship some three weeks ago, asserted its dominance against Malaysia, which is down to the lower bracket finals.
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