JAKARTA, Indonesia — Before clinching its first world title in Singapore, Blacklist International hardly had any breathing space after losing on day one of their playoff bout against North America’s BloodThirstyKings

Flash-forward to more than a year later: Blacklist finds itself in a better spot after dismantling RRQ Akira in its first M4 upper bracket knockout match — and head coach Kristoffer “Bon Chan” Ricaplaza is more than thankful for that. 

“Magaan ‘yung pakiramdam namin compared noong M3, na araw-araw nasa bingit kami ng kamatayan. Parang nasa bangin kami na nasa dulo araw-araw. Parang ngayon, mas magaan. May dalawang buhay pa, pero sana hindi na magamit ‘yong isa pa,” he told ABS-CBN News after Blacklist clinched a 3-1 victory against RRQ Akira. 

Blacklist will have two days to regroup before facing Indonesian fan favorite RRQ Hoshi in its home soil.

As it goes up against one of the host country’s powerhouse teams, the reigning world champs will make the most out of this breathing space, one way or another. 

“Di ko sure kung makakapagpahinga kami eh. Kailangan naming sulitin ang training. After naman ng M4 makakapagpahinga nang todo eh ‘di ayun, sulitin na namin,” Bon Chan said. 

Blacklist will face RRQ Hoshi on January 11. 

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