The Sibol MLBB team survived a gritty Malaysian squad, 2-0, to jumpstart its gold medal defense in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang esports event in the 31st Southeast Asian Games at the Vietnam National Convention Center.

Photo from SEA Games

The Philippine bets were put to an acid test as the Malaysian crew composed of professional players from the Todak team in MPL Malaysia held its ground against the team that featured three members of the M3 World Champions Blacklist Jonmar “OhmyV33nus” Villaluna, Salic “HAdji” Imam and Danerie “Wise” Del Rosario.

Good thing both OhmyV33nus and Wise shook off the rusts in time to provide the clutch plays for the Sibol team in both of the final moments of the two game sweep.

In Game 1, the Filipinos bucked an opening game hiccup as they recovered from a rough start where they found themselves down 5-0 in kill score. The Malaysian team seized control for most part of the early game before the Filipinos found their break when they scored a four-man wipe of Malaysia to at the eighth minute amrk of the game.

Malaysia kept its lead though after taking the Lord following a pick-off on Wise but the Filipinos held on to their defense before they completed a clutch steal in the next Lord dance to take the major objective on top of the four-man kill and draw the series first blood, 21-21.

Feeling the momentum, the Filipinos kept their foot on the gas pedal in the second game as they raced to an early lead after punishing the Malaysian double tank setup on the Franco and jungle Atlas picks. They however managed to create some space for Momo’s Karrie to freely farm to anchor their late game attack. Howard “Owl” Gonzales shone in the opener with a 11-3-4 KDA.

A messy team fight near Malaysia’ purple buff pit saw Wise’s Akai catching Moon’s Xavier triggering the telling clash where the Filipinos scored a wipeout to end the best-of-two series 22-27.

Hadji spearheaded the attack with a 9-5-8 line on his Cecilion while Owl added a 6-4-10 KDA.

Source: Manila Bulletin (