MANILA - Learning from their mistakes last year, Perpetual Help came through with one of its best performance to date and cheered its way to the 2009 NCAA cheerleading competition title to retake the crown it lost a season ago before a loud Wednesday crowd at The Arena in San Juan City.
Matching their daredevil pyramids and stunts with beautiful music and a masterfully choreographed dance number, the Perps dominated the field by garnering a whopping 335.5 points to pocket the top purse worth a cool P90,000 courtesy of Samsung.
Last year’s champion Jose Rizal finished second place with a distant 311 points, the only other school that breached 300 points to pocket the first runner-up purse amounting to P55,000.
Guest team Emilio Aguinaldo College sent shockwaves down the competition venue as it snatched a surprise third place effort by edging powerhouse San Sebastian by just a hairline, 244-243.
The Generals took home the third place purse worth P45,000.
Angeles U Foundation, for its part, snared the Samsung Stunner award—a plum given to the most beautiful cheerleader—courtesy of Jojo Cabales.
It was a bittersweet triumph for Perpetual Help following its failure last year when it came into the competition as a heavy favorite only to stumble in the competition proper with several cue mistakes. It finished fifth place, its worst result in the league since the event’s inception six years ago.
“Last year we were doing our routine perfectly but when the actual performance came, we committed many mistakes,” said Perpetual Help coach Ruf Vandolph Rosario, who was hired four years ago and steered the Las Piñas-based school to a three-peat from 2005-2008.
“This year, our performance in the actual competition was nothing but perfect. Maybe it’s really God’s will for us to win,” he added.
Rounding up the top 10 finishers were San Sebastian (243), 2004 titlist Mapua (236.5), AUF (214), St. Benilde (194.5), Arellano U (169), Letran (168.5) and San Beda (148).
This year marked the first time that the league teamed up with the National Cheerleading Championship (NCC), the only association in the country following international standards, to make this edition a resounding success.
It was the Perps' third title this year after reigning supreme in the NCC Finals and beating UAAP schools State U and Far Eastern U in the Fil-Oil UAAP-NCAA showdown early this year.