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Cloud Nine: Altas Perps Squad soars back to NCAA cheering throne

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With the ones cheering now getting the cheers from the crowd, the University of the Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas Perps Squad made sure they would get the loudest of them all.

After slipping to second place last year, the Altas Perps Squad reclaimed the NCAA Cheerleading title after topping eight other participating squads at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, Tuesday afternoon. In the process, Perpetual snared their ninth title overall and cemented their place as the best cheerleading program in the league.

The now nine-time champions bucked a fall in their final pyramid to snare top honors with 195 points. Perpetual flawlessly executed the required elements and showed proper techniques. The squad’s performance was also solid from top to finish, with the level of energy not dropping a notch.

Head Coach Ruf Rosario was relieved and was delighted to reclaim the title. Rosario shared that the squad had a poor run-through in the morning, but they just shook it off. He said, “huwag niyo na lang ulitin. Andito pa rin ako, kakapitan ko kayo. Kaya niyo yan.” With his motivation and trust, the Perps Squad provided the crowd in attendance a near-perfect routine. “We made sure we hit the elements perfectly. I made a routine that fit my team and can make a better score.”

Last year’s champions Arellano University settled for second place this time with 193 markers, just two points shy from UPHSD’s. The AU Pep Squad started strong on their tosses, but some miscues in the middle of the routine had cost them a back-to-back plum. Nonetheless, AU still finished with a bang as they nailed their pyramids one after another.

The Emilio Aguinaldo College Pep Squad rounded off the podium with a solid 145-point performance. EAC leaned on their pinpoint tumbling and swift transitions on their pyramids to return to the podium after four years. EAC also took the second runners-up honors that year.

Former champions JRU Cheer Explosives placed fourth while the San Beda Red Corps executed a clean and precise routine to improve to fifth place. The LPU Pep Squad, CSB Pep Squad, the Mapua Cheerping Cardinals, and the Lakas Arriba Cheerleading Team completed the order of finish.

Altas Perps Squad Captain Mark Espinas recalled how emotional it was that they had lost the crown last year after having held on to it for four straight years. Espinas, however, said, “Ginamit namin siyang inspiration [for this year].” He added, “nagprepare kami physically and mentally.” Espinas believes that their single-base stunts and pyramids were keys to their ninth overall title.

Despite stamping their legacy, Coach Rosario has an advice to his wards. “Kahit nasa cloud nine kami, remain humble and continue what they’re doing,” he said.

“Proud ako na meron teams sa NCAA na pwedeng maiksabay hindi lang sa UAAP, kundi abroad. Proud ako na member ako ng NCAA,” the champion coach ended.

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Arellano stays undefeated, trounces Lyceum

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The Arellano University Chiefs stayed on top of the NCAA Season 93 Men’s Volleyball standings, surging to their fifth straight win after slashing the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates, 25-18, 25-21, 21-25, 25-17 at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Chiefs had another straight-set victory in sight until a error-filled third set swung to the Pirates’ favor. According to Chiefs head coach Sherwin Meneses, his team suffered from a spell of complacency which he hoped they grow out of.

“Sabihin na nating minsan, medyo nagre-relax talaga o nagiging over-confident ang players. Nangyayare talaga ‘yun pero, siyempre, ayaw mong magtuloy-tuloy ‘yun sa mga susunod na laban,” said Meneses who admitted his team still has ways to go, especially with their defensive skills.

Demy Lapuz led the Chiefs with 17 points while Kevin Liberato and Joseph Cabillan each tallied 14 markers.

The Chiefs get a chance to claim the solo lead when they face the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas (5-0) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Joeward Presnede topped the Pirates with 15 points while Jhonel Badua added 14.

The Pirates (1-4) take on Final Four contenders San Beda Collega (3-1) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

AU (3) – Lapuz 17, Cabillan 14, Liberato 14, Dela Paz 11, Segovia 4, Domingo 2, Soriano 2, Meneses 1, Arellano K. 0, Arellano T. 0, Liberato J. 0, Blanco (L), Esguerra (L)

LPU (1) – Presnede 15, Badua 14, Saporna 7, Lajara 6, Samonte 2, Ilano 1, Uy 1, Estranero 0, Rubio (L)

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Impervious Lady Chiefs stay perfect after sweep of Lady Pirates

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The Arellano University Lady Chiefs extended their winning streak to 17, dating back to last season, after clobbering the Lyceum of the Philippines Lady Pirates, 25-16, 25-17, 25-11, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The defending champions were unrelenting, with four Lady Chiefs scoring in double-digits. Rookie Necole Ebuen powered in 11 points. Third-year open hitter Regine Arocha and Arellano’s middle blockers Mary Anne Esguerra and Andrea Marzan each provided 10 markers.

Conversely, no Lady Pirate managed to score in double-figures.

“Maganda naman talaga ang nilalaro ng mga bata. Lahat kasi kami determinado na makakuha ulet ng championship. Alam nila (Lady Chiefs) na kailangan pataas nang pataas ang ginagalaw namin,” said Arellano head coach Obet Javier.

The Lady Chiefs also limited their errors to a season-best 16, while the Lady Pirates surrendered 24 miscues.

Christine Miralles and Monica Sevilla each supplied the struggling Lyceum with eight point apiece.

The Lady Chiefs will look for their sixth win of the season when they face the red-hot University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (4-1) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The Lady Pirates (1-4) take on the undefeated San Beda College (4-0) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

AU (3) – Ebuen 11, Arocha 10, Esguerra 10, Marzan 10, Prado 3, Ramirez 3, Liu 2, Balanoba 1, Donato 1, Verutiao 0, Buemia (L), Flores (L)

LPU (0) – Miralles 8, Sevilla 8, Juanilla 7, Patio 4, Genova 1, Romanban 0, Bongabong 0, Marcella (L)

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Jake Vicen performs under pressure as Blazers end eight-year title drought

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For the second straight match, the championship showdown between the College of Saint Benilde Blazers and the Arellano University Chiefs reached a showdown from the penalty spot. And once more, goalkeeper Jake Vicen came up big.

The third-year custodian denied one of Arellano’s prolific scorers, Roberto Corsame, in the shootout and sealed the title after eight long years, 3-2, penalties, Wednesday evening at the historic Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The Blazers made their intentions clear from the get-go, as they repeatedly pierced through the defense of the Chiefs.

Nonetheless, in the 38th minute, the white-shirts clinched the goal they deserved. The Blazers pushed forward, and almost got a call in their favor. The referees, however, played advantage, and fortunately Benilde held on to the play.

Miguel Artillera found himself unmarked on the right flank and easily blasted the ball past opposing keeper Jericho Desalisa.

The Marlon Maro-mentored side continued to play aggressively in the following period, and almost plucked a second goal. This time, however, the Chiefs’ backline — led by eventual Best Defender Patrick Bernarte — held on.

Such a stand was rewarded by their attacking force minutes later, and, as expected, the equalizer came from the counterattack.

Corsame received a pass from the middle and defeated two defenders, and seeing Vicen off his line, sent the ball into the onion bag in the 49th minute.

Both sides tried to break the deadlock, but fatigue slowly crept up in the dying minutes of the second period and the whole of extra time, setting up another thrilling finish in the shootout.

Much like in Game 2, the two keepers came up big, as Desalisa and Vicen denied their second kickers a clear shot. Arellano went on to miss another shot, and it was then up to the Blazers to seal the deal.

Dean Ebarle stepped up and calmly slotted the ball into the goal for the lead at 3-2. Afterwards, Corsame faced Vicen, but this time, the Cebuano keeper would not be denied. The latter went to his strong side, and, fortunately, guessed right for the huge save, as pandemonium erupted from the Benilde crowd and squad.

The Finals series hero and season Best Goalkeeper Vicen was pleased that the new champions had carved out the historic win despite early adversity. “Big loss ‘yun, si Val [Calvo], kasi may magagawa talaga siya kung nakalaro namin,” he said of losing their former captain.

Nonetheless, the squad stayed focused on getting it done this year.

“Binuhos lang namin every minute sa training. Luckily, hard work paid off,” declared Vicen.

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Undefeated Arellano halts JRU’s winning streak

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Though suffering their first set loss of the season, defending champions Arellano University Lady Chiefs still snapped the Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers’ two game winning streak and remained unbeaten in NCAA Season 93, 25-11, 22-25, 25-18, 25-16, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Coming into the game having won all their matches this season in straight sets, Arellano shockingly surrendered a loss in the second set. With his team trailing for the entire set, Arellano head coach Obet Javier knew such a setback was inevitable and it was up to his team to regain momentum.

“Maganda din talaga ang simula ng JRU noong second set tapos hindi kami agad nakabangon. Nakita din talaga doon ‘yung mga kailangan pa naming ayusin,” said Javier. “Sabi ko sa kanila na pinakita na nila ‘yung mababa nilang laro, kailangan ipakita din nila na kaya nilang maka-recover.”

The Lady Chiefs responded immediately, dumping the Lady Bombers in a 13-6 hole in the third set, then a 15-6 gap in the fourth frame to close the match convincingly.

Last season’s breakout star Regine Arocga topped the Lady Chiefs with 20 points while Season 92 Finals MVP Jovielyn Prado added 17.

The Lady Chiefs (4-0) look to continue their winning ways when they face the Lyceum of the Philippines University (1-2) on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

JRU captain Shola Alvarez continued her offensive hot-streak, grabbing 19 points. Rookie Dolly Versoza tallied 12 markers.

JRU (2-2) takes on the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (2-1) also on Sunday.

The Scores

AU (3) – Arocha 20, Prado 17, Esguerra 12, Ebuen 11, Marzan 10, Ramirez 5, Bello 1, Donato 1, Verutiao 1, Balanoba 0, Buemia (L), Flores (L)

JRU (1) – Alvarez 19, Versoza 12, Montojo 10, Rivera 3, Bodiongan 3, Ebuenga 2, Bautista 0, Bondoc 0, Sibangan 0, Macaraya (L)

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