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AU reclaims cheerleading crown

Arellano University dethroned perennial champion University of Perpetual Help to reclaim the NCAA Cheerleading Competition title Thursday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Arellano Chiefs Squad displayed a near-flawless, breathtaking tosses and jaw-dropping stunts to wow the audience and grab the spotlight with 218 points.

It was a repeat performance for Arellano, which dominated the competition two years back, and a revenge of sorts for its runner-up finish last year to the defending champion University of Perpetual Help Perps Squad.

The Chiefs Squad lost the title to the Perps Squad by only two points.

“I always told them to perform with a heart. No hesitations. Just give them their best. Mas nag-polished kami sa execution namin,” said Arellano coach and trainer Lucky San Juan.

“Hinanap namin yung edge namin sa ibang teams at dun kami nag-concentrate,” added San Juan.

Nine-time champion Perpetual Help settled for the runner-up honors with 199.5 points – its second time for a bridesmaid finish.

Inaugural champion Mapua Cheerping Cardinals came in a surprising third place with 191 points, eclipsing their eighth place finish over the last two years.

San Beda and Emilio Aguinaldo College finished in the Top 5 with 175 and 164.5 points, respectively, followed by College of St. Benilde (156.5), Lyceum (143), and Jose Rizal University (141).

Performances were rated based on cheer, partner stunts, pyramid, basket toss, tumbling, flow of routine/transitions, and overall presentation.

Only eight schools participated with San Sebastian and Letran skipping this year’s competition.

Meanwhile, San Beda swept both the juniors and seniors general championships to emerge the most dominant team in the 92nd NCAA season.

The Lions reaped 683 points on victories in basketball, chess, men’s taekwondo, women’s table tennis, men’s and women’s swimming, and football.