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Cheerping Cardinals win gold in NCAA 96 Playoffs

Article by: Alexandra Isabelle G. Delavin and Goven M. Barrera
Graphics by: Albert Dylan David

Competing with other teams from different colleges and universities, the Mapúa Cheerping Cardinals landed first place in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 96: Rise Up Stronger Playoffs aired last June 27 via GTV.

Mapúan graduates Elli Dale De Guzman and Carelle Samantha Nantes, the University’s cheerleading team, triumphed over powerhouses San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Emilio Aguinaldo College, San Beda University, and University of Perpetual Help System - DALTA in the final round of the playoffs.

With pandemic restrictions still in-effect, only former students of the ten schools were allowed to vie for the gold and the Cardinal alumni duo were the chosen representatives of the University to perform a two-minute routine in the competition.

In an interview with De Guzman, he said that their victory was attributed to the vibrance and power of the routine that they presented before the judges. “... hindi kami nag-aim for difficult stunts and difficult dance moves, basta it [should] be visually appealing sa camera, pati 'yong show [of] large movements and energy,” he shared.

Although successful, their pursuit for the gold medal was difficult. Owing to their struggles were conflicts with their respective occupation schedules. According to both participants, procuring their costumes and finding a suitable time and location for rehearsals proved arduous in this time of a pandemic.

Nonetheless, with the support of their fellow members of the Cheerping Cardinals, as well as the Security Office and Department of Physical Education and Athletics of the University, the cheerleading duo were able to finalize their performance a day prior to the filming of the competition.

In turn, the alumni cheerleaders dedicated their victory to the Mapúan community. “Sobrang saya, remembrance na rin sa akin yung medal [as] a result na ginawa namin yung best namin for that routine, for that performance [...] para sa mga coaches din namin, sa teammates, and sa Mapúan community.” Nantes said.

Meanwhile, De Guzman reminisced the great opportunity given to him and his partner to be a part of the homegrown talents of Mapúa Cheerping Cardinals. “Being a Mapúan is an honor and it is also a privilege,” he emphasized. “Just keep on striving for better na i-carry [mo] pa rin 'yong Mapúa identity.”

The NCAA Season 96 airs on weekdays at 3:00 PM, Saturdays at 4:30 PM, and Sundays at 5:05 PM on GTV, Channel 27 on free cable, and GMA Now.
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