FEU Cheering Squad coach Randell San Gregorio was honored to place first runner-up next to flawless champion NU PEP Squad in the UAAP Cheerdance Competition 2018 and is eyeing to reach that level next season.
Dancing their way with a 70s funky theme highlighted by their glittery gold outfits that made the 20,117 people in the crowd groove, the FEU Cheering Squad copped the silver medal on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Trailing 55.5 points to champion NU PEP Squad, which didn’t have any deduction in its total score, San Gregorio admitted that while waiting for their turn, he watched NU and he knew that it will reclaim the crown with a fantastic Disney movie Coco-inspired routine.
But he was honored to see his team be second best.
“Nung napanood ko NU, alam ko number one na sila. Bagay talaga hashtag namin, Palag palag. It would be an honor to be next to them,” said San Gregorio, who matched his best finish last 2016 in his four-year tenure with the team.
“Ako personally, I was really happy for them. While Ateneo was waiting for their turn, I was watching in the screen. Di ako nakafeel na na-threaten ako. It is more like ang galing nila. Nakaka-inspire sila.”
San Gregorio admitted that he was threatened when the Adamson PEP Squad got the second runner-up — while not discounting the erstwhile defending champion’s skills — but he frankyl thought that they wouldn't make it to the Top 3 and the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe might end up at the podium instead.
But UST, which performed with a Beyonce-inspired routine, was just 0.5 point behind Adamson’s 638 points.
“Well nung inannounce na third yung Adamson na-threaten ako. Personally, ang top three ko, di ko napanood yung Adamson. Akala ko UST. Not to discount Adamson's ability, siyempre defending champion sila,” he said. “Based sa napanood ko, nung tinawag yung Adamson, sabi ko nag place ba kami? Di ako magtataka kung second place ang UST. Ganoon kabigat yung laban.”
The FEU head coach also added that this year was a dream match since it was a great competition from all eight schools.
“Sobrang saya. Ito yung dream match mo na lahat magaling. Hindi mo alam kung paano ka mananalo,” San Gregorio said. “Mas inaabangan ngayon yung stunt. Hindi lang gumigimik yung tao sa sayaw, pati sa stunts at cheer elements, gumi-gimick na.”
“Hindi mo na pwede i-discount yung ibang teams. All the teams are imrpoving, kung nag-iimprove ka, yung kalaban mo nag-iimprove din. Pag 'di nabuo yung routine wag kayo umasa [manalo],” he added.
The challenge now for San Gregorio and his squad is to reach or even surpass the level of NU PEP Squad, which he referred ‘out of this world‘ and ‘bionic.’
“The challenge now is how to be on the same level. Darating din tayo dun,” he said. “We will try to win next year not the beat NU but to win kasi gusto namin manalo. Ang kailangan ko yung mga batang madaling turuan at hindi takot kasi magaling ka nga pero takot ka naman.”