UP annexes 8th cheerdance title-A A +A
Saturday, September 22, 2012
University of the Philippines Pep Squad capitalized on backbreaking stunts and emphasized equality and freedom to grab a record-tying eighth cheerdance title in the 75th University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) on Saturday.
Despite failing to perfect the final lift, UP wowed the 19,509-strong crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City by beginning the show with repeated homage to the Oblation, the concrete statue fronting the university which depicts a man’s selfless act to serve the country.
“It’s the symbol of our liberties and we have shown a lot of stunts that are at par with international standards because we joined and won competitions abroad,” former Pep Squad co-skipper Laurence Martin Bautista told reporters.
“We know that perfection is the rule of the game in UAAP but we trusted the difficulty of our stunts. We just stuck to that point,” he added.
Entering the court with shaved heads, Bautista said there was hesitation on the part of his female teammates even if it was done for charity. Hair donations will be manufactured as wigs for cancer patients in celebration of the national awareness month for people with alopecia or baldness.
“Medyo natakot ang mga girls kasi first time nilang kalbuhin at siyempre hesitant sila sa magiging hitsura nila, parang it turned out na okay at lumitaw ang confidence namin lahat,” Bautista said, adding the idea came from multi-titled coach Lalaine Pereña.
With the feat, UP registered its second three-peat, the first being from 1999 to 2001. University of Santo Tomas, the other school with eight crowns, still holds the longest winning streak at five (2002-2006).
“We want to show to other schools that we are a free university, that we don’t fear anyone and we even shave our heads. We’re free and that was seen in the routine,” Bautista, who is set to graduate next year with a degree in Business Administration and Accountancy (BAA).
UP took home P340,000 while Far Eastern University (FEU) finished second to settle for P200,000 while surprise third placer National University (NU) got P140,000. Banking on a Disney-inspired theme, this is the first time since the competition began in 1994 that NU has made a podium finish.
Missing out the top three for the second straight year is the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe after finishing fourth. Last year’s runner-up La Salle Animo Squad took fifth while the Ateneo de Manila Blue Babble Batallion, Adamson Pep Squad, and University of the East occupied the sixth to eighth spots, respectively.
UP also bagged the title for best group stunts with FEU and NU placing second and third, respectively. UP rookie Nicolette Erica Ambulo meanwhile was picked as this year’s Samsung Stunner.
A foreign panel of judges rated the performances this year. They were Huang Yu Chun (president of Chinese Taipei Cheerleading Federation), Joe Jackson (USASF Safety/Legality Judge), Manuel Malonzo (Associate Director of Chameleon Dance Theater), Julien Leblond and Eftimiu Luminita (coach of Women’s Gymnastics of the Municipal Sports Club).
Among the criteria used were dance technique, jumps/tumbling, tosses, lifts/stunts, pyramids and choreography/synchronization. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)