UP squad cops bronze in 6th World cheerleading
() - December 6, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The University of the Philippines pep squad did the country proud and showed it ranks among the best cheerleading squads in the world by capturing the bronze medal in the prestigious mixed team category of the recent 6th Cheerleading World Championships at the Hong Kong Coliseum.

Strutting the stuff that made them seven-time UAAP cheer dance champions, the UP bets debuted in impressive fashion to garner 417 points and finish third during the two-day event sanctioned and organized by the International Cheerleading Federation.

Making up the squad are mainstays John Paul Belarmino, Laurence Bautista, Richbert Asuncion, Irish Planes, Fiona Gali, Kathleen Madrigal, Beatrice Segundo, Kiko Cortez, Bien Insigne, Carlito Serrano, Zar Anthony Semsem, Matthew Alonzo, Noelynne Figueroa, Nessa Salvador, Marielle Baraza, Rafaella de Guzman, Gabrielle Tuazon, Raymond Santos, Mark Castro, Frances Munoz, Suyin Chua, Lara Limjap, and Patrick Paraso. The UP pep squad coach is Prof. Laraine Perena while the assistants are Pio Opinaldo and Nino Antonio.  

Former world champion Japan bagged the gold with 516 points while Thailand took the silver (453) to make it a 1-2-3 Asian finish in the competition that drew  70 elite cheerleading squads from over 22 countries such as the US, Peru, Russia, Germany and Chinese-Taipei, among others.

Judging was based on compulsory stunts, expression, speed, transition and synchronization, said Evan Alvia, head of the Philippine contingent whose outfits and gear were provided by Smart Sports.

Aside from the bronze medal, the Filipinos, who were also represented by the Centro Escolar University and Polytechnic University of the Philippines cheerleading squads, also wound up fifth both in the cheer dance and all-female categories to make their presence felt on the global cheerleading stage.

“Mabuhay ang UP pep squad!,” said Smart chief wireless advisor Orlando Vea.“Thank you and please continue inspiring our countrymen with your dedication and world-class talent.”

“Since this was our first time at the cheerleading worlds, our performance was beyond our expectations, including the podium finish,” said  Alvia, who thanked sponsor Smart and the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines for supporting their stint.

He also cited the contributions of UP coaches Richbert Asuncion and Jerome Cortes and mentor Julia Tuason of CEU and Angelo Lampitoc of PUP “for helping us in all the other categories.”

“We went there as Team Philippines and worked as one, so everybody deserves the credit,” Alvia added.

“This outcome showed that we can truly compete with the best in the world,” GAP secretary general Bettina Pou, who was part of the Philippine contingent, said.

GAP president Cynthia Carrion also paid tribute to the Filipino cheerleaders, saying: “Their achievements will go a long way to raising the profile of cheerleading as not merely an eye-pleasing but also a competitive sport in the country.”

ANGELO LAMPITOC BEATRICE SEGUNDO BETTINA POU BIEN INSIGNE CARLITO SERRANO CENTRO ESCOLAR CHEERLEADING CHEERLEADING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS CYNTHIA CARRION EVAN ALVIA FIONA GALI
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