THE best in the UAAP, and now, best in the whole country.
The National University Pep Squad regained the title in the National Cheerleading Championships which came to a close Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The reigning back-to-back UAAP champs finished with a total score of 342 points to rule the College Coed Division and recapture the championship they last held in 2013.
University of Perpetual Help came in runner up with 333 points, while defending champion Central Colleges of the Philippines could only land at third this time with 302.5 points.
NU coach Ghicka Bernabe said the Bulldogs were on a mission about regaining the championship they lost to CCP a year ago.
“From last year nadale lang talaga kami ng out of bounds, but with the elements na pinanalo ng team ranked No.1 pa din sila sa qualifying… it’s a sweet victory,” Bernabe told Spin.ph after the rousing win.
“Hindi nakakatakot matalo. Mas maganda makatikim sila ng pagkatalo para alam nila kung gaano kasakit… dapat parati silang focus na manalo- iyun yung goal namin hindi para sa sarili naming, pero para sa mga taong sumusuporta sa amin na naniniwalang kaya namin”, added Bernabe, noting last year’s heartbreaking loss served as a good motivation for her team.
The Bulldogs also emerged top in the Coed Group Stunts, besting the Altas and the Bobcats.
In the stunt division, Taguig City University finished no. 1 as it won over Altas Sports Squad and RTU, which placed second and third, respectively.
Parañaque National High School (PNHS) was judged the best High School Coed Cheerleading team in the country after last winning the championship in 2012.
The Warriors finished with a score of 297.
Second place went to Las Piñas East National High School, while Immaculate Concepcion Academy All Stars completed the podium finish with a 274 point tally.
PNHS coach Alex Sernio said it was the school’s third NCC title, the last of which came in 2012. The team was runner-up in 2013 and only ranked fifth last year.
It was actually a roller coaster ride of sort for PNHS, which saw the team ranked last in the NCR qualifying round last February, and was almost left out of the national finals.
“Nang binigyan kami ng chance ng NCC, pinagpursigahan namin- everyday halos gabi na kami umuuwi- push kami ng push to perfect everything,” Sernio told Spin.ph
“We trained from last summer for this- one whole year nag-ensayo ang mga bata namin,” said Sernio, who had his students train in gymnastics.
Fifty teams took part in the final day of the two-day event, now on its 10th year.
A total of 128 teams competed in 21 different categories.