After lending the crown last year, the Arellano University Chiefsquad brought the house down with a flawlessly executed routine to reclaim the NCAA Season 92 Cheerleading Competition championship, Thursday afternoon at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
The Legarda-based squad had narrowly missed on a second straight title, after the then eight-time champions University of Perpetual Help Altas Perps Squad pulled it off with a measly two-point advantage.
“Actually sa lahat ng performance namin, ito yung pinaka-special,” head coach Lucky San Juan shared. “Kailangan makita ng mga tao na nag-e-enjoy sila every time nagpeperform sila.”
The mentor admitted that he had told his players not to watch the other routines, but instead focus on their own. “Yung mga player ko tinatago ko sa dugout para hindi kabahan. Sabi ko, na huwag isipin yung kalaban, isipin lang yung performance nila.”
Arellano took the top spot after scoring 218 points. The now two-time champions relied on their gravity-defying tosses and pyramids to put up their score.
Such near-perfect execution stemmed from San Juan’s reminder to his squad. “Kailangan nila patunayan na contender sila sa NCAA at sa Pilipinas,” he said.
The squad also increased their routine’s level of difficulty, such as the changes to their pyramids.
“Kung hindi ako nagkakamali, yung full twist to pyramid. Siguro yung double base din namin, madalas three-man base pero ginawa namin double-base,” the two-time champion mentor emphasized.
The Altas Perps Squad finished at second this time with 199.5 pts after finishing off their routine strong following a major error early in the routine.
Rufa Rosario, the Las Piñas-based team’s head coach, shared that they fully accepted the result. “Tanggap namin. We deserve the runner-up. Tanggap namin na nagkamali kami,” he said.
The first-ever champions Mapua Cheerping Cardinals returned to the elite circle after registering 191 points. The Intramuros-based squad got their points mostly on their pyramids.
The San Beda College Red Corps went a place higher at fourth with 175 points, as the Emilio Aguinaldo College Pep Squad finished at fifth with 164.5 points.
The College of Saint Benilde Blazers Pep Squad, the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pep Squad, and the Jose Rizal University Pep Squad rounded up the order of finish.
Two schools, San Sebastian College and Colegio de San Juan de Letran, missed the competition.