THIS WEEK has proven to be a tumultuous one for Blacklist International, their top seed performance crashing down following a pair of painful losses. Their first defeat was from the team straight from the amateur scene, Onic PH, and while many expected that their loss would motivate them against ECHO PH, the opposite occurred.
The Orcas stunned a stacked Blacklist roster, pulling off a 2-1 win. But behind their momentous victory were the sacrifices that the team had to endure.
Yawi and SanFord reveal their stories
During a post-game interview with Mara Aquino, Sanford “SanFord” Vinuya revealed that he dedicated this victory to a relative who is currently suffering from an illness.
“Shout out sa pamilya ko, lalo na yung tito ko," he said in the livestream. "Hopefully gumaling ka sa sakit mo. Para sa iyo ang laro na ito.”
At the post-match press conference, SanFord also spoke on what they had to bring to their fight against Blacklist.
“Parang nag-focus muna ako sa laban kase sobrang lakas po ng kalaban," he said. "Kailangan ko talagang ibuhos yung lakas ko dito.”
With this game, SanFord has finally proven that he has moved past the benchwarmer role of his Nexplay EVOS days. After a mediocre outing at the MPL: Invitational 2021, doubters argued that he wasn't mean to play at the higher levels.
“Sobrang saya kase hindi ko talaga malabas yung gigil ko sa laro. Parang kahit anong practice ko po, hindi ko mailabas sa tournament," said the ECHO EXP laner.
Tristan “Yawi” Cabrera had his own story to tell, saying that their time in the bootcamp meant that he had to miss his brother’s graduation as they prepared for their Blacklist match.
“This week po halos lahat ng teams pinaghahandaan namin, pero this week sobrang grabe. Graduation ng kuya ko noong Thursday, tapos hindi ako nakapunta kasi kung pupunta ako mami-miss ko yung one scrim and malaking bagay po iyon sa amin," said ECHO's roamer.
"Nandun yung buong family ko tapos sinacrifice ko yun kaya wala ako sa picture e syempre once in a lifetime yung graduation."
As a senior high student in Mapua taking up Accountancy, Management, and Business, Yawi has to balance his playing career and his studies.
At one point, his sleep schedule was shot thanks to his grueling schedule.
“Morning yung class ko po tapos yung schedule ko 7 am to 12 nn, tapos minsan 9 to 10 am. Yung 7 to 12 ang hirap kase natutulog ako mga 3 am na po. So wala, nilalaban ko na lang, para din sa akin.”
Ultimately it was all worth it, as Yawi finally ended his losing streak against Blacklist International.
“Ako po sobrang tuwa po kasi simula po ng pagpasok ko sa MPL tapos noong dumating yung V33Wise, wala po akong panalo sa kanila. Bale five seasons ko na po silang walang bawi. Tapos iniikot yung aming roster, so pinagdasal ko na sana kami yung pipiliin sa Blacklist at hindi yung Team 2. Gustong-gusto ko talagang bumawi," he said.
"Masarap po sa pakiramdam kasi idol ko talaga si V33nus e.”