Highland cheerdancers retain NCC crown

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Friday, March 14, 2014


THE Highland Elite All-Star Warriors re-emerged as the best cheerleading squad in the country on Saturday after topping the Open Division Coed Elite category of the 9th National Cheerleading Championship before a 20,000 fans at the MOA Arena in Pasay City March 8.

Defending last season's title, the Baguio City based cheerers successfully mounted the championship crown besting seven other competitors from all-over the country.

"Sobrang proud, that’s the simplest way para i-describe ang feeling ng buong team after we were announced as the champions ng competition," HEA cheerleading captain Joshua Palo told Sun.Star Baguio.

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"We were really down few weeks earlier before the contest, pero we did our best to manage accounts para maka-attend ulit this year and surprisingly we made it back-to-back," Palo quipped.

The 24-man composed cheerdance squad lorded the competition after garnering a total of 376.5 points from the judges.

“Nag-stand out kami siguro dahil na rin sa mas mahihirap ang mga stances that we presented. Actually one of the high scores gathered from the routine was from our pyramiding,” Palo quipped.

HEA outperformed the competition by a slight 1.5 points. Ace All Star, coached by Central College of the Philippines, fell short to a second place spot with a total score of 375 points. Meanwhile, the rookie laiden Army's Battalion Royale, landed in the decent third spot garnering a total of 374.5.

"Admissibly, marami kaming mga flaws na nagawa during our routines, pero we are truly happy since we dominated the competition," Palo said.

The 24 members of the back to back titlist come from the different universities in the Summer Capital and others came from as far as Ifugao and Manila.

"Actually yung mga guest members namin were former colleagues na rin sa cheerdance contest. When we decided to come up with an all-star crew we made our selection so that talents will come from different areas but mostly Baguio," Palo said.

The HEA Warriors are currently under the guidance of choreographer and head trainer Peejay Natiola, who is now eyeing to elevate their bragging rights, in staging a grand slam performance and come up with a three-time championship slate next year.

"Hopefully kung may budget ulit or sponsorships for next year we will go for the three-peat," Palo said.

Way back in 2011, HEA was also invited to compete in International Cheerleading Championships including in 2013 where the competition was held in Australia but failed to attend due to financial incapacities.

"Matagal na sana that the group would have represented the whole country sa mga international competitions, sadly we don't get much of the attention and support we all ask for," Palo said.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 15, 2014.

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