FEBRUARY 14, 2007
(STAR) By Joey Villar - The best cheer dancers in the land will get a chance to compete against each other in the National Cheerleading Championship (NCC) which unfolds with the Open Qualifiers Feb. 18 at the Le Pavilion Complex in Pasay City. and culminates in the finals Feb. 25 at the Philsports Arena.

American Joe Jackson, international coach and director of one of the biggest and most active cheerleading organizations in the United States Cheerleaders of America (COA), planed in from the US early this month to sit as one of the judges in the event participated in by 11 high school teams and 14 college and university squads.

The other judges are Paula dela Llana, former captain of the UP Pep squad and a member of the country’s cheerleading team in the 2002 Busan Asian Games, and Steph Kahn, a former La Salle alumna who is currently in Orlando, Florida to do cheerleading research for NCC.

But before the much-anticipated event, Jackson, a former cheerleader, a national and safety judge and instructor in one, and a group of local expert coaching staff, have conducted a two-day seminar and cheer camp Feb. 3-4.

And Jackson, who was one of the judges in the inaugural staging last year, said he liked what he saw.

"The Filipinos are natural when it comes to cheerleading, they only need to learn the techniques and some basics," said Jackson in yesterday’s press launch at the ABS-CBN’s ELJ Building in Quezon City.

Kings: We’re down but not out The Philippine Star 02/14/2007

Even San Miguel Beer coach Chot Reyes couldn’t help but get into the mood of the day since, using a tennis term, they would go for ‘ three-love’ on Valentine’s Day.

"We want to make it ‘three-love.’ That’s our target although we know they’re coming out stronger," said San Miguel coach Chot Reyes as they face Barangay Ginebra in Game Three of the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup best-of-seven finals at the Astrodome today.

Aware taht the Kings might have figured out a way to stop the Beermen, Reyes said he’s making his own adjustments as they seek to push the Kings in a hole no team has ever crawled out of in the league’s 32-year history.

"Two-zero is nothing. If we get another win, then we have a better chance," said Reyes, who has bungled such a lead the Coca-Cola Tigers against the Talk n Text Phone Pals in the 2003 All-Filipino series.

"We still have a job cut out for us. With Eric Menk likely to get stronger and Danny Ildefonso still on a day-to-day status, it’s incumbent upon our big men to hold the fort for us," Reyes added.

Ginebra coach Jong Uichico has said they’re not about to throw in the towel yet.

"Never-say-die spirit pa rin," said Uichico moments after his team suffered a second straight defeat to the Beermen Sunday.

"We’re down but not out. We’re trying to figure out how to beat San Miguel. I’m sure we’ll find a way. As long as there’s still a game to be played, Ginebra will never say die," Uichico added.

Uichico actually has an idea how to best deal with the Beermen. The question is how to make his players respond to it.

"We have to find somebody who can back up the likes of Mark (Caguioa), Rudy (Hatfield) and Jayjay (Helterbrand)," he said. "Once somebody steps in, sustain our fire, we can beat them (Beermen)."

True enough, only a handful has been delivering for Ginebra while the entire Beermen have been putting up tremendous efforts for the team.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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