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    Mon, Sep 26

    NEXPLAY EVOS’ miraculous ascension after the traumatic hospitalization of John Paul “H2wo” Salonga lives on.

    In the previous days they shocked the Philippine MLBB scene by eliminating both Omega Esports and Onic PH.

    Now they were able to prove their worth as they eliminated RSG PH, a dark horse for the Sibol qualifiers, in a 3-1 slugfest. Nexplay will face Blacklist International in the Sibol grand finals.

    Prior to the match, the series was highly anticipated by Bren’s Coach Francis “Duckey” Glindro due to the performances of the individual players involved and the series was indeed marked by the matchups centered on these players.

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      CADENZA vs. Light in Nexplay vs. RSG match-up

      The battle between two of these up-and-coming roaming players was indeed a back-and-forth spectacle as both players made timely setups which led to crucial teamfight pickoffs.

      Kenneth “CADENZA” Castro’s Jawhead was a monster in Game 1 as he forced his rival, Dylan “Light” Catipon, in uncomfortable positions.

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      Seeing that Light has a tendency to play Khufra with a counterattacking gameplan, CADENZA went all out chasing after him, knowing that Khufra requires strategic positioning play due to his animations.

      This forced Light to go for a hero who could hastily surprise his foes, so he entered Game 2 with his Ruby, and this time the tables were turned. Light gave Castro a run for his money as his setups threatened to thwart Nexplay’s opportunities.

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      Then in Game 3, the two roaming players made crucial plays from around the Land of Dawn with Light’s Lolita ult serving as the counterattacking threat that Nexplay needed to deal with, while RSG had to contend against the barrier blocks and wild charge combo from CADENZA’s Grock.

      H2wo vs. Demonkite

      But it wasn’t the only explosive individual matchup as both H2wo and Jonard Cedrix “Demonkite” Caranto clashed their way to decide on who will be the king of the jungle.

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      Game 1 already displayed that as the sudden explosions from both Demonkite’s Paquito and H2wo’s Hayabusa turned the match into a jaw-dropping affair. They both showed their prowess in Games 2 and 3, but it was in Game 4 where both really stole the show.

      Demonkite’s Karina was constantly gunning down Marius “Donut” Tan, to which H2wo’s Paquito responded by bursting down Joshwell Christian “Iy4knu” Manaog.

      And both even made crucial clutch plays as Demonkite’s Karina became a bait on the 13th minute, allowing Light and Arvie “Light” Antonio to provide the follow up, however, this led to H2wo’s herculean efforts where amid the numbers disadvantage, he was able to burst down the tanky duo of Kenji and Light.

      But these weren’t the only mano-y-mano affairs that happened as both Kenji and Rainiel “URESHII” Logronio tried to harass the other team’s backlines with their Gloo becoming a pest to slow them down.

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      Then there was Aqua and Jeniel “YellyHaze” Bata-anon who showed some signs of explosion in Game 1 when they had that 1-v-1 early midlane clash.

      A chance for redemption for Nexplay

      After the drama centered on H2wo's absence against the Codebreakers, Nexplay's Coach John Michael "Zico" Dizon expressed his emotions after reaching the grand finals.

      “Sobrang saya po talaga as in. Sobrang overwhelming yung nangyari kase ang daming naging struggle bago makaabot sa finals," said Zico during the post-match interview.

      To which H2wo responded: "Lakad matatag talaga sa lower bracket."

      Given the prestige of representing the Philippines for the SEA Games, Zico promised to give his all against the most dominant team in the world, Blacklist International.

      “Para sa akin sobrang importante na maging champion kami dito kase pride po ng bansa yung ilalaban namin kaya gagawin namin ang lahat."

      He added: “Sobrang hirap talagang kalabanin ang Blacklist kase uutakan ka talaga nila eh. Blacklist lang yung hindi namin nakakatalo pero gagawin namin ang lahat para talunin sila," said the former MPL player.

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