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From young guns to seasoned vets: Pheww, FlapTzy discusses leading AP.Bren's younger gen

Photo from MPL Philippines / Richard Esguerra

by Drew Malihan

QUEZON CITY - Both David "FlapTzy" Canon and Angelo "Pheww" Arcangel claimed their MPL Philippines Season 6 trophy for Bren Esports, back when the entire tournament was held online due to the ongoing pandemic on October 25, 2020.

Pheww, who was 21 years old at the time, was the young veteran of the team, known as the "Idol ng mga kids," having already tasted success both locally and internationally.

Meanwhile, the younger FlapTzy, who was only 16 at the time, was an up-and-coming player for Cignal Ultra in late 2019. He happened to be Pheww's teammate for three months back when Cignal is in their brief stint at the amateur scene, then he moved to Bren in mid-2020 to complete the soon-to-be-champion roster.

Back then, they were the young guns along with Karl "KarlTzy" Nepomuceno and had been taking notes from their older, more experienced teammates, including former captain Carlito "Ribo" Ribo Jr. They continued to dominate, leading to their M2 World Championship glory.

Pheww and FlapTzy as part of the Bren Esports' M2 World Championship roster. Photo from Moonton

Three years and six seasons later, after learning from Coach Francis "Ducky" Glindro, it was Pheww and FlapTzy who became the leaders of a much younger AP.Bren squad, taking their younger brothers to the promised land at M5.

For Pheww, now aged 24, the trust placed in him to lead the team to victory was something to be proud of.

"Sobrang saya ko na pinagkakatiwalaaan nila ako (bilang captain) [I'm very happy that they trust me (as captain)]," said the skipper in the post-match press conference after securing the M5 slot last Friday. "Sobrang laki ng pasasalamat ko sa team (sa tiwala) [(The trust) the team has given to me, I'm so thankful for.]"

And why wouldn't he be, as Pheww was the longest-serving AP.Bren player and was the one who knew Coach Ducky and the team culture best since 2020.

He added, "From Season 6, matagal na kami, pero pinagkakatiwalaan pa rin nila ako (hanggang) this season [We are already long-serving with the team from Season 6, but they are still counting on me (up) to this season."

FlapTzy and Pheww were teammates in Cignal Ultra in late 2019, with Pheww captaining the squad. Photo from Cignal Ultra

However, for the now 19-year-old FlapTzy, who is now on his sixth season with the franchise, the term "veteran" doesn't bother him at all.

"Sa akin naman, iniisip ko na parang baguhan pa rin ako para magutom pa rin ako sa mga laro, manggigil [For me, I still consider myself somewhat of a newcomer to the team, so I'm still eager to play and give my all in games]," FlapTzy stated.

He surely has the desire to win more, proving himself as the rightful heir to the role after long-time fighter user Ralph Mico "Coco" Sampang slowly moves away from active player duties.

He still looks up to the two-time SEA Games gold medalist for any advice. "Si Kuya Pheww pa rin po yung umaalalay sa akin ngayon. [Kuya Pheww still guides me up to this day]," said the famed EXP laner.

And with the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang calendar wrapping up with the M5 World Championships in Manila, both Pheww and FlapTzy will be leading the bee colony, this time on their quest to be the undisputed kings of the Land of Dawn.

Follow him on X: @drew_corner

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