In the closing moments of Day 2 at the Esports and Gaming Summit 2019, the Philippine National esports team, Sibol – Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) graced the stage for an exhibition match for the convention goers. They were joined by two players from the Philippine Basketball Association – Ryan Araña from NorthPort Batang Pier and Kiefer Ravena from the NLEX Road Warriors.
The seven players from Sibol – Mobile Legends: Bang Bang were divided into two teams. Joining Ryan Araña were Jason Rafael ‘Jay’ Torculas, Jniel-Bata ‘Haze’ Anon, Angelo ‘Pheww’ Arcangel, and Karl ‘Karltzy’ Nepomuceno while Allan ‘Lusty’ Castamayor, Carlito ‘Ribo’ Ribo, Kenneth ‘Kenji’ Villa, and one lucky audience member joined Kiefer Ravena.
The two teams put on a show. Kiefer Ravena showed his skills on Franco with on-point hooks to set up kills for his team while it was Karltzy that shined on Dyrroth finding kill after kill in the early game. Team Araña had an early lead but Team Ravena fought their way back in. But it was Haze that decided the game with the timely use of Arrival into the base of Team Ravena.
Game 2 was all about the battle of the Marksmen, AKA Karltzy and Kiefer on Irithel and Moskov, respectively. The skill and confidence of Karltzy was again in full display and carried Team Araña to victory to close out the exhibition match in two games.
Ultimately, the exhibition match was a treat for the convention attendees, watching two prominent figures in Philippine basketball and the Sibol – MLBB team share the stage.
Ravena had nothing but respect for the Sibol players after the match despite the 2-0 loss.
Representing the country and your team is quite a big difference even for a player like Ravena. When we asked him what it’s like to don the Pilipinas jersey, he said, “There’s so much difference when it comes to putting on the Pilipinas shirt or jersey. The pride, the glory, the honor, the responsibilities, it’s way different because a lot of people look up to you. When it comes to representing the country, they expect the best from you. The blessing that comes from representing the Philippines also comes with a lot of expectations and responsibilities.”
“Hopefully they continue to play hard. Wag sila magsawa to play and work for one another and play for the Philippines,” [Hopefully they continue to play hard. I hope they don’t get sick of working and playing for one another and, of course, the Philippines] Ravena mentioned as advice to the Sibol players.
“The future [in esports] is in good hands when it comes to the Philippines,” he concluded.