MORE than 300 pep squads from more than 200 schools around the country will see action when the annual National Cheerleading Championship (NCC) opens its 12th season with the staging of the Visayas Regional Elimination in Cebu City on September 16.
NCC head Carlos Valdes said that this year’s edition would include six regional eliminations to determine the 25 qualifiers that will compete in the national finals on March 2017 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Valdes said that the staging of the six regional eliminations is among the several innovations that they will introduce this year. The other is the inclusion of the drumline competition and the stretching of the national finals into a three-day affair.
Besides Cebu, regional qualifying tilts will also be held in Central Luzon, Bicol region, Cagayan de Oro City for the Mindanao region and Dagupan City for the Northern Luzon region, according to Valdes during the launching of the 12th season on Friday at the Teatrino Prominade in Greenhills, San Juan City.
“This is now a product of our hard effort. We are able to widen the competition from mere 10 teams when we started 10 years ago. Now we are going to have more than 300 teams from 200 schools nationwide participating in our 12th season,” Valdes said.
Valdes added that this season’s winner would again represent the country in the forthcoming Asian Invitational Cheerleading championship in Singapore early next year.
The NCC will also conduct a tryout from among the participants to select the athletes that will compose Team Pilipinas that will participate in the 2017 International Cheerleading Union (ICU) World Championship in Orlando, USA.
Defending champion National University Pep Squad represented the Philippines in the ICU-organized World championship in Orlando, USA last year, where they bagged a bronze medal. Some 80 countries competed in the ICU world championship.
“This year, we want Team Pilipinas to be composed of the best athletes. That’s why we will be conducting a try out after our three-day national finals,” Valdes added.
All six regional eliminations and the three-day finals will be shown live via Solar Sports channel, ETC and Jack TV.
“To show our commitment to make the NCC bigger, we have decided to include our sister channels ETC and Jack TV to showcase a different perspective on the NCC. Each channel will have a different approach on the NCC with Solar Sports focusing more on the competition aspect, ETC on lifestyle and Jack TV highlighting the drumline competition. It shows how fun and dynamic the NCC is,” said Solar Sports Marketing Manager Paulo Fernandez. `Frank Calapre