Sunday, September 14, 2014

NU is back-to-back UAAP Cheerdance champs; UP, UST on Top 3 (VIDEOS)

The National University (NU) Pep Squad performed a difficult, Native American-themed routine flawlessly to win the UAAP Cheerdance Competition for the second consecutive season in front of a packed crowd at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.

The defending champions, performing last among the eight squads, showed that the best was indeed saved for last as they performed a complicated routine perfectly, to the delight of the NU fans who were hoping for their team to achieve a "bark-to-back."
Wearing costumes style after Native American garb and their hair styled in mohawks, the NU Pep Squad drew oohs and aahs from the crowd with every perfectly executed toss and with their well-choreographed dances.

NU finished with a total score of 677.5 points to retain the crown and the P340,000 prize that came with it.

"Super blessed po kami kasi po alam namin na binigay po sa amin ito ni Lord," said NU team captain Precious Chavez after their victory. "Minahal po namin ang ginagawa namin, at minahal po namin ang bawat isa."

The NU Pep Squad, however, faced tremendous competition from the University of the Philippines (UP) Pep Squad, which was aiming to reclaim the throne after placing second in last season's competition.

UP performed a near-flawless routine, and drew praise for their theme of "equality" that saw them use rainbow-colored pompoms, while inspiring awe when their female cheerleaders flipped the script by lifting the male cheerleaders during their stunts.

The UP Pep Squad had to be satisfied with second place, however, after garnering 658 points.

Meanwhile, the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Salinggawi Dance Troupe came in third place to mark their first podium finish since 2010. Salinggawi finished with 625 points.

NU thus became the third team to win back-to-back crowns, after only UP and UST which both have eight cheerdance championships, and tied the Far Eastern University (FEU) Cheering Squad with a total of two championships.

NU Pep Squad coach Ghicka Bernabe revealed that while she used the same system to train the squad, it was more difficult this year as they set out to defend their crown.

"Nag-champion kami last year, so 'yung pressure andoon," Bernabe said. "Mas nag-double time kami sa training ngayon."

"After the competition (last year), nag-collaborate na kami ng mga coaches, at nagkaroon na kami ng brainstorming," she said when asked about their preparations. "Last summer, nag-experiment kami ng bagong stunts."

"So technically, nag-start ang training namin mula summer until September."

Adamson, with a pirate-inspired routine, finished in fourth place (600 points), just ahead of the FEU Cheering Squad, which finished with 599.5 points for fifth place.

The De La Salle University Animo Squad, third-placers last year, dropped to sixth place this year with 557 points after performing an "out of this world" routine inspired by science-fiction.

The University of the East (UE) Pep Squad finished seventh (503 points), while the Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion was in eighth place (494.5 points).


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