August 13, 2021 (2:14 PM)

4 min read


UNDEFEATED. SON Panthers shut down SEA Tiger’s win streak, taking the game 2-1 as champions for the Palarong Atenista 2021 Mobile Legends finals, streamed yesterday via Facebook Live. Photo credits to Jeni Anne Rosario

Unfazed and undaunted. 

This describes the commanding performances in the Mobile Legends gold medal match during the Palarong Atenista ‘21, the School of Nursing (SON) Panthers and the School of Engineering and Architecture (SEA) Tigers gave each other a run for their money.

One minute into the match, the SEA Tigers started strong with their Saber drawing first blood on the SON’s Diggie via ganking. The lead ballooned for the Tigers with their 2-6 (SON-SEA) record in the first 5 minutes of the game.

After securing a 4-point lead in kills, the SON’s Paquito got his second turtle, gaining additional gold and experience points for the Panthers, and proceeded to eliminate the SEA’s Mathilda moments after.

Later on, Paquito slayed the last turtle and destroyed a SEA turret. Ten minutes into the match, the teams’ score was tied at 7-7 in kills. In an attempt to take over the lead, both teams contested to get the lord, which SON’s Paquito successfully did to turn the tables.

After gaining the momentum, the Panthers proceeded to dominate the match through constantly putting pressure on the Tigers’ defense via strategic team-fights. The Panthers scored more kills and destroyed more turrets to their advantage. The SON’s Paquito then turned the heat further up through getting the lord, challenging the Tigers’ even more.

Sixteen minutes into the match, the Panthers’ offensive strategy prevailed over the defenses of the Tigers, as they killed three of the heroes on the Tigers’ side, leaving only Saber and Ruby to defend the high ground. Exactly 46 seconds later, the SON Panthers sealed the deal, ending the match with their resilient performance.

From ‘underdogs’ to champions

The Panthers conquered the Tigers with their almost seamless gameplay, a feat considering the latter had an undefeated streak for the duration of the Palaro. The champs scored a commendable 15-11 wind up in kills, securing the gold for the SON cluster.

For these champions, winning did not come without challenges. Benjamin Arabe, the SON Panthers’ team captain, shared the different challenges the team encountered before and during the event. Arabe, who played as Paquito for the Panthers, played exceptionally well to carry his team to victory.

“Playing Mobile Legends and being a student nurse at the same time is difficult. Balancing our time for practicing and managing our studies are the challenges our team encountered. Personally, being a third-year nursing student is exhausting. Spending too much time on my schoolwork while finding time to practice with the team gave me a hard time,” he said.

Hailed as the championship match’s Most Valuable Player was the SON Panthers’ Stephen Cenabre who played as Kaja, scored a 5-2-8 KDA (Kills-Deaths-Assists) record.

Cenabre claimed that communication in the online setting became a challenge as the other team members were experiencing power interruptions and internet problems. However, his performance in the match was crucial for his team’s victory, as he was the one who always set up and initiated team fights.

Cenabre recalled their experiences as a team as “fun and entertaining”, despite starting off individually “from square one,” where they checked each co-members’ attitudes and playing styles, resulting in a stronger bond between the team.

In contrast, Arabe felt the pressure of representing the SON cluster more so that he was team captain, stating that he was in charge of raising the team’s spirit amidst increased pressure. 

“As the team captain, I should raise the team’s spirit to continue battling, which resulted in the wins—the same case during the championships,” he explained.

“Representing the School of Nursing in the Palarong Atenista indeed gave me a lot of pressure. More so, during the semi-finals, when we lost against the SEA and were down by one against ACC, the pressure increased, and it crushed our spirits,” Cenabre then added.

Both players were encouraged by the persistent persuasion of their friends, but what really pushed Cenabre to represent his cluster was to have something to prove, not only to himself, but to the whole Ateneo community.

“Gusto ko pong may mapatunayan not just for the cluster but for the whole Ateneo community po,” he said.

Being overlooked in the past years, Arabe then expressed how memorable this event was as it signified that the SON Panthers now have a high chance of dominating this year’s Palarong Atenista.

“As a player and an individual, this event will forever be a memorable one for me. Knowing that the School of Nursing cluster were underdogs, wherein they rarely win championships, we could prove to everyone that we, student nurses, are also capable of being at the top,” he said.

End the silence of the gagged!

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