Never in Louie Sangalang’s wildest dreams did he think that he’d ever cross paths with Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, let alone face off against him.
A mixed martial artist and a purple belt in jiu-jitsu in his own right, Sangalang was one with the masses in witnessing Johnson’s ascension to be considered as one of the best fighters the world has ever seen.
Lucky for the 43-year-old procurement consultant from the Philippines, the match wasn’t inside the cage but rather, in a trampoline arena as the seven remaining candidates played trampoline dodgeball in episode nine of The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition.
This somehow leveled the competition as Sangalang and the rest of Team Valor, which also had taskmaster Dom Lau in tow, faced off against Johnson and Team Conquest.
“In my younger years, I used to play dodgeball. So I’m quite confident of my abilities to play dodgeball,” said Louie in jest.
True enough, his grit was evident to help his side take the victory.
“Louie is so aggressive. The way he is attacking people is very rough. His face, it’s like it’s a war for him,” observed Irina Chadsey.
Sangalang did have his shining moment, eliminating Johnson in the clincher which led to his teammate Monica Millington delivering the game-winning hit on Chadsey as Team Valor took the physical task, 2-1. “You get to hit a world champion, so that’s going to be something for the books in my life,” he commented.
But it wasn’t just Sangalang’s competitive side which came out as the usually stoic Louie flashed a smile and evidently enjoyed the task like a little kid, doing backflips while jumping on the trampolines.
“I didn’t realize that jumping on a trampoline, more so dodgeball trampoline, was so much fun,” he said.
Staying with the youthful vibe of the episode, the candidates were asked to create a campaign promoting TUMI’s first gaming bag collection, Alpha Bravo e-sports Pro.
Still riding high from the physical task victory, Sangalang was quick to vouch for Millington to take the lead for Team Valor — a strategic move as he wanted to see the 30-year-old fashion entrepreneur from the United States rise to the occasion. “I have a very high regard for Monica’s capabilities when it comes to competencies in these fields, but in the past, when under immense pressure, she did display a certain level of distress,” he commented.
It wasn’t long before Louie’s temper was tested when his task of doing the research was stopped when Monica and Paulina Purnomowati had to borrow his personal laptop for the shoot when Millington forgot her own.
“That kind of irritated me because I could not do work. I had to resort to using my phone to do research. And you know, it’s not the most efficient way to read documents. I really want to help you with the research, but I can’t work if my laptop is not here in front of me,” he argued.
Monica responded: “I just think there’s three of us. We’ve never worked with a team this lean. So, it’s gonna be very different than what we’re used to before.”
Knowing the stakes of the competition at this stage, Sangalang knew he had to check his ego out of the door, but not before having strong impressions against Millington. “I’ve always taken a very calm approach to everyone here. I’ve always been polite and always been very respectful. But Monica, her leadership and management style is questionable,” he said.
The move paid well for Team Valor, with its “Journey of a Champion” campaign being praised by ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, although noted that with a couple of tweaks in the target market, the plan of staging a tournament of champions could be doable.
“I thought your execution plan was believable, but you just chose everyday heroes. I think that’s an almost impossible concept,” the executive pointed out. “But if you choose someone who’s on the cusp of being professional, it’ll get a lot of credibility in the gaming community. A little bit of a tweak and this concept can be explosive.”
It wasn’t long before Chatri gave Team Valor the victory, a testament to the cohesiveness Louie, Monica, and Paulina have fostered.
However, Millington hesitated a bit when Sityodtong asked him if she trusted Sangalang.
“I do [trust him]. I wavered on that because we always say he’s an ice king,” she said. “Louie can be hot and cold and you can’t read him. When there’s turmoil or tension, he can eventually talk about it, and we can have it out without it getting into any sort of argument or disagreement. It can just be like, I didn’t like it when you did that.”
It’s a trait the usually deadpan Louie possessed which intrigued Chatri, something he remarked as “impressive.”
For Sangalang, though, that’s just what you have to do to in this high-stakes game of business competitions and physical challenges — all for the prize of a US$250,000 job offer as Sityodtong’s protégé, chief of staff, and head of a business development unit at the ONE Championship Global Headquarters in Singapore — no matter if he remains as the lone male candidate among the last five standing.
“I’m honored to be competing among the female candidates. I’m not intimidated by that because I know what it takes to be The Apprentice,” he said.
The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition is hosted by CEO and Chairman, Chatri Sityodtong who has an estimated net worth of USD 350 million and is currently aired across Asia on AXN, the show’s official Asian broadcast partner, with markets to include Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam. The show
The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition is also be available on other platforms and TV networks across Asia, including MediaCorp (Singapore), Abema (Japan), KompasTV (Indonesia), Amarin TV (Thailand), LINE TV (Thailand), TV5 Network (Philippines), and HTV (Vietnam).