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

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.

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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.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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