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Perpsquad coach Rosario admits NCC stint added more pressure to NCAA cheerleading title defense

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY—Coach Ruf Rosario bared to the media that the Altas Perpsquad had to row its boat through two rivers during its buildup for its title defense in the NCAA Cheerleading Competition.

While the Perpsquad had to train for its performance in the season-ending cheerdance event that took place on Thursday at the Mall of Asia Arena, the team also had to focus on its bid in the National Cheerleading Championship (NCC) over the weekend at the said venue.

"Yun po yung prinoblema namin. Part of our program in defending the crown is to focus on the NCAA, which is a five-minute routine. We will do a two-minute and 30-second routine in the NCC. It's really hard to execute two routines at a time. Nataranta yung mga bata," Rosario said.

Before, especially during the turn of the decade, the NCAA Cheerleading Competition was a qualifier for the NCC, with the top five teams earning spots in the grandest cheerdance event, but with the Cheerleading Philippines Federation, which also sanctions the UAAP Cheerdance Competition, now overseeing the NCAA CLC, the Perpsquad had to undergo the NCC NCR qualifiers to get to the main event.

"Dahil CPF[-sanctioned] na [ang NCAA], kumuha ako ng bid sa [NCC] NCR qualifiers, and luckily, we got runner-up with our routine despite our star flyer is not in the lineup," Rosario continued.

The said injury to the flyer, which turned out to be a grueling knee injury, also put some dent to the Perpsquad's bid for back-to-back titles.

"Ngayon, nalaman namin na yung flyer namin, na-ACL. So kulang pa rin," Rosario further rued.

Eventually, the said factors cost the Perpsquad the championship as Arellano reclaimed the NCAA cheerleading title, but Rosario expressed his happiness that the entire Perpetual Help community cheered their lungs out.

"Even though na kulang, we gave the Perpetualites the happiness. Naramdaman ko na champion or not, tinanggap kami ng community. Di namin makakalimutan yun," Rosario said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno
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