THERE WAS no denying the hype that surrounded ECHO PH, especially after the tidal wave that they caused during the offseason.
With big name acquisitions like Karl “KarlTzy” Nepomuceno, Tristan “Yawi” Cabrera, and Frediemar “3MarTzy” Serafico, mixed with the prestige brought in by the likes of Christian “Rafflesia” Fajura and Ashley Marco “Killuash” Cruz, they are now considered as the super team of the MPL.
But like most super teams, there was a cloud of skepticism centered on the Orcas — a sentiment highlighted by MPL shoutcaster, Manjean “Manjean” Faldas during a Spin Life Zoom In broadcast, who compared ECHO PH to one of the most notable NBA powerhouses in LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh’s Miami Heat.
During the early days of Miami’s big three era, the team was on a losing slump, forcing the team to hold a player’s only meeting.
“Kapag may nabuong super team, usually yung first few stages ng super team ay hindi nagwo-work. It’s because all of them are Batmans! Kailangan mo ng Robin!” said Manjean during a recent episode of Spin.ph's Zoom In.
But besides the usual problems centered on player roles and team cohesion, the pressure of being the talk of the town will also play a major role and Manjean pointed this out.
“Pag may nakakasalubong na MPL fan, ECHO yung tatanungin eh. May nangyayaring M3, pero lahat ng tao, “Uy ECHO!'” he said.
He added: “Ang nakakainis dito, kung ikaw si Yawi at KarlTzy, yung expectation sa kanila, sobrang taas. So kung ikaw yung nasa shoes nila, for sure may unconscious pressure kase lahat ng tao nakatingin sa kanila eh.”
And as the season progresses, all eyes are on the Orcas, given the expectations placed on them. For them to live up to the hype, fellow MPL shoutcaster Theo “Uomi” Ignacio, shared an important insight regarding ego and communication.
“May ceiling pa rin siya sa akin that you can never achieve the ECHO Philippines that everyone is expecting if you don’t break the barrier between ego and communication,” Ignacio reflected.
“Kailangan masira yung ego and maayos yung communication because yun yung problema eh. You have 10 superstars, all of them have egos. Syempre walang ego-ego yan sa loob pero we don’t know. I don’t know! So kailangan nating makita sa laro for us to know.”
Discussing potential starting five of ECHO PH
Though there are drawbacks in forming a super team, the benefit of having 10 players gives Coach Michael Angelo "Arcadia" Bocado a lot of tactical leeway and fluidity, which made both casters ponder on who their main five would be.
And both casters revealed that there are similarities with their chosen five.
"KarlTzy matik! Parang imposible na hindi mo ilagay dapat! Pwede naman i-switch pero ngayon KarlTzy, Yawi, at least may kapalitan ngayon si Raf(fflesia), si 3Mar(Tzy), Bennyqt, and Kurt(Tzy)," said Manjean.
He even went as far as referencing another NBA super team in Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Demarcus Cousins' Golden State Warriors.
Uomi also picked the same names. However, he was unsure about who will be the main roamer as both Yawi and Rafflesia were the team's focal points from last season.
"Parang ganun din eh, KarlTzy jungle, 3MarTzy sa EXP lane, KurtTzy sa mid, cause Bennyqt will go to gold lane. Then for Position 5 is left for... I don’t know, like Rafflesia? At this point kahit sino eh, lahat sila pwede mag-flex ng roles eh," he explained.
And a potential flex was revealed as Uomi shared his thoughts on 3MarTzy, bringing up the idea of utilizing him as a gold laner, giving room for Mr. Five-Min. Lothars, Killuash, to shine.
"Alam ko si 3Mar EXP lane pa lang nakikita natin sa kanya, but I honestly think 3Mar can play a good gold lane. As long as he doesn’t like jump into fights katulad ng Lapu-lapu, Uranus na ginagawa niya cause when I looked at his Facebook post, naglalaro siya ng EXP lane Alice or other things that you could actually play in the gold lane."
We'll just have to wait until the season begins to witness what this team has to offer.