MANILA, Philippines — After a painful loss to the University of Cordilleras Jaguars and a botched back-to-back championship in 2011, the Central Colleges of the Philippines Bobcats made a powerful comeback and reminded the opposition who own the National Cheerleading Competition.
The Bobcats brought home their fourth overall crown in the 2012 National Cheerleading Competition. They preyed on UAAP Cheerdance Competition bridesmaid Far Eastern University Cheering Squad, which placed second and the University of Perpetual Help System Delta Altas, which finished third.
The CCP Bobcats emerged not only as champions but as record breakers in the entire NCC history, scoring an impressive 322.5 points, to finish several notches above FEU and UPHSD (310.0 and 296.0 points respectively).
‘‘CCP Bobcats have been actively competing in the NCC since its inception in 2006,’’said head coach Arnold Villanueva on the team’s dominance in the league.
According to Villanueva, his squad has a lot of advantage in terms of cheerleading which led them to their fourth crown.
‘‘Our main advantage over the other teams is our experience with the competition format. Unlike other teams who have been used to cheerdance, cheerleading is totally different and I can say it’s the Bobcats’ game,’’ he added.
In cheerdancing, every squad has 4-5 minutes to showcase their routine and focuses more on the dance portion. On the other hand, cheerleading focuses on the stunts and gives each team a total of 2 minutes and 30 seconds only.
But, as one song goes, even the best fall down sometimes.
Despite their reign in the league, the Bobcats also had their share of downs. What could have been a repeat in 2011 was spoiled by the UC Jaguars, and the Bobcats admitted what went wrong.
‘‘Medyo naging petiks kami. Puro guestings kasi,’’admitted Bobcat Desiree Cruz.
After ruling the 2010 NCC championship, the Bobcats started appearing on noontime shows like ABS-CBN’s Happy Yippee Yehey. They also won in Showtime’s Campus Clash Dance Competition.
The Sta. Mesa-based squad learned their lesson and started to train early after the loss in 2011.
According to Villanueva, they trained very hard for 10 months in order to get the team well-oiled, especially the rookies. Team member Cecilio Cabuenas also admitted that they were pressured to reclaim the crown.
‘‘Sobrang pressured. Nung natalo kami nung 2011, nag double time kami sa training. Yung eagernes naming manalo, doble doble talaga. Gusto talaga naming mag champion nung 2012,’’ he said. ‘‘Nakatayo palang kami, gusto na naming manalo. Run-through palang, gusto na naming manalo.’’
The 40-member squad intensified their stunts and routines for their much anticipated comeback. According to them, their winning formula is their trust in themselves, in their teammates, and in their coach.
‘‘Pinilit naming bumangon. Iba yung pakiramdam. Iba yung motivation namin,’’ Cabuenas added.
This upcoming season, however, will be a severe test since the Bobcats would be losing a lot of veterans. But according to them, they have no doubts and fears in facing future challenges.
‘‘We never let our guard down. We will exert all efforts and push the team further to realize our dream of a double back-to-back crowns, a feat no other team has ever accomplished,’’ said a vigorous Coach Arnold Villanueva. For him, they were never as ready as they are now.
‘‘Lalaban at lalaban kami basta buo kami,’’ said Cabuenas. “Bobcats kami eh. All for God, CCP Bobcats.”