MPL Season 10: After exiting playoff hunt, gritty TNC already preparing for S11

Angela Colona, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 01 2022 12:44 PM

TNC Pro Team talks to Mara Aquino after winning 2-0 against Onic. Courtesy: MPL Philippines
TNC Pro Team talks to Mara Aquino after winning 2-0 against Onic. Courtesy: MPL Philippines

MANILA - TNC Pro Team are still holding their heads up high despite falling out of playoff contention. 

In fact, they are already trying to prepare different combinations to try ahead of season 11, after getting the early boot in the regular season. 

Jomarie "Escalera" Delos Santos on Friday suited up as TNC Pro Team's roamer, with Salman "KingSalman" Macarambon assuming Escalera's role in the midlane. 

And it paid dividends as both wards played crucial roles in the Game 1 comeback victory over Onic PH. 

"We were dedicated na gawin ito kasi siyempre we have nothing to lose, but everything to gain so we thought na maybe this would be a good idea because the characteristics of the players, especially Escalera's shotcalling. So we think this is something we can - not final - explore going to the next season," TNC Coach Paulo “Coach 413” Sy, said. 

Escalera, who transitioned from a jungler to a midlaner before stepping into the pros, embraced the entirely new role wholeheartedly. 

"Tuwing nagsi-scrim kami, hati kami ni KingSalman sa laro. And habang nanonood po ako nanonood po ako ng tank kasi sa tank talaga yung ano initiator sa kaniya po lahat ng play - yung gumagawa ng space sa kakampi niya," Escalera said. 

"[Ang maganda po] sa sarili ko na sobrang bilis ko pong matuto kaya ayan po yung sinabi ni sir Pau (413) na itry ko mag-tank di naman ako napressure kasi gusto ko rin po laruin yung mga hero na Chou, Mathilda, sasabihin ko na lahat pero ganon... 'Yung nangmumukha na talaga sa kalaban," he added. 

After being a potential title contender in Season 9, TNC Pro Team crashed out of the playoff picture in Season 10 after dismal performances. They will face Blacklist International tonight to close out their regular season. 

With the tall order in motion, 413 said TNC will not go down without a fight and give their fans something to hold on to. 

"Ibibigay talaga namin yung best namin kasi siyempre statement yun para sa amin eh. We don’t want to end the season on a bad way, so beating Blacklist would be a very, very good way to end the season," he said. 

No less than the outpour of support will keep them going, the coach further shared. 

"Nung nag-post kasi kami na eliminated na kami, siyempre parang tina-try mong unahan. Iniisip na baka i-bash kami ganun, pero 'yung love and support ng ML community na parang 'bawi kayo next season, kaya niyo ‘yan,' -- parang ayaw naming i-let down," 413 added.