The 92nd NCAA Cheerleading Competition unfurls on Thursday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City with Perpetual Help seeking to defend the title it won a year ago and continue its reign as the league's most successful cheerleading team.
Displaying a more difficult routine, stunts and tosses, the Perps Squad regained the championship and edged the Arellano U Chief Squad, the 2015 title-holders, by a mere two-point margin, 195-193.
Another victory this year will underscore the Las Pinas-based team's domination of the meet as it seeks to collect its 10th championship trophy since the sport was officially accepted into the league calendar 13 years back.
The only seasons Perpetual Help failed to win the title were in the sport's inaugural edition in 2004, 2008 and 2014, years when Mapua, Jose Rizal and Arellano U reigned supreme, respectively.
"We will give it our very best to preserve the tradition of Perpetual Help in NCAA cheerleading," said Perpetual Help coach Ruf del Rosario.
During the drawing of lots a few days back, Perpetual Help picked second behind No. 1 Jose Rizal, which will perform first starting at 3 p.m.
And then Lyceum of the Phl U, Emilio Aguinaldo, Arellano U, San Beda, Mapua and St. Benilde will follow suit.
Letran and San Sebastian did not join this year.
Expect Perpetual Help and Arellano U to battle it out for this year's title the way the two schools fought closely the past two seasons.
The Chief Squad pulled off a shocker by snatching the title from the then four-peat-seeking Perps Squad two years ago before the latter returned with a vengeance and wrested back the crown last season.
"Our team have prepared hard so expect a very exciting competition," said Peter Cayco, Arellano U's representative to the NCAA Management Committee.