2009 CHAMPION University of Perpetual Help Dalta System Altas goes for back-to-back as the National Cheerleading Championship (NCC) culminates Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

A total of 21 collegiate teams qualified for the NCC Finals for the 2 p.m. event. This would be aired live on high definition by ABS-CBN Sports on Studio 23.

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The NCC website said (www.nccphilippines.com), aside from the Altas, the squads to watch out for are 2009 first runner-up University of the Cordilleras (UC) and 2009 second runner-up Xavier University-Ateneo De Cagayan (XU).

The 2007 and 2008 champions Central Colleges of the Philippines (CCP), SCUAA Champions Rizal Technological University (RTU) and Polytechnic University of the Philippines-Taguig (PUPT) are also expected to show their best form.

De La Salle University (DLSU), Jose Rizal University (JRU), and Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), meanwhile are listed as dark horses, the website said.

Organizers meanwhile are excited over the event’s live coverage under high definition.

"This is exciting for all fans of the sport of cheerleading. Even in the US, the competitions are aired on tape delayed basis,” ABS-CBN Vice President for Sports Peter Musngi said in a statement.

Emiliano Caruncho IV, NCC head for Business Development and Finance, said partnering ABS-CBN will help promote the sport of cheerleading.

"We are happy that all fans of cheerleading - especially those in the provinces - finally see all the action up close and live. This will allow squads to showcase their elite skills to wider audience and help the sport grow even more," he said.

The live coverage came up after a recent partnership signed by Musngi and NCC President and COO Carlos Valdes III. (Virgil

Lopez/Sunnex)