AFTER losing its crown in the last National Cheerdance Championships (NCC), the National University Bulldogs Pep Squad is now looking to bounce back it its defense of its UAAP title.
NU coach Ghicka Bernabe said exhaustion - not overconfidence - was the reason the Bulldogs failed in their quest for back-to-back titles in the NCC, where they finished third behind champion Central Colleges of the Philippines and runner-up University of Perpetual Help last April.
“Maraming reason, one of them probably was 'yung ang tagal naming nag-perform. Kasi pang 27 kami, imagine how long our team had to wait,” she said. “Yung mga bata kasi wanted to focus, pero masyado kaming na-exhaust sa tagal ng paghihintay.”
“Mga 6:30 a.m. kami dumating pero nakapag-perform kami mga around 7 p.m. na. Pero sabi ko nga, we already lost it. Hindi na kami dapat mag-dwell pa dun, we just have to keep improving,” added the charming coach.
Bernabe explained that the team topped all the elements only to commit several out of bounce errors that proved costly.
“Sa tingin ko ngayon, mas nakaganda pa nga yung talo namin dun kasi in a way yung mga bata ayaw na nilang matalo ulit. It somehow made our players hungrier. Right now, our focus is back on the grand prize in the UAAP,” said Bernabe.
“We accepted the defeat. It was a humbling experience for us,” added the former FEU star cheerleader.
As defending champion, the Bulldogs will once again perform last among the eight participating universities in the team event, after the drawing of lots made UE as the first performer, followed by FEU, UP, UST, Ateneo, La Salle and Adamson.
“It won’t matter anymore kung last o first kami. Basta we will try to ready ourselves. No excuses, no room for mistakes,” said Bernabe, who vowed to come up with another breath–taking routine.
“Every year, nag-e-evolve ang routine. Alam namin may mga bago ring ipapakita ang ibang schools. Kami naman maglalabas rin kami ng alam namin kami pa lang naglalabas.”
Since the last national championships, the Sampaloc, Manila-based squad has welcomed eight new members from their second team.
“We are really preparing hard for our UAAP defense. In fact, we spent summer training our flyers, then we had the ranking tapos nag-start na agad yung training namin around first week of June,” said NU Pep Squad team manager Patricia Chunsim.
The Bulldogs completed their conquest of the UAAP Cheerdance tilt last year with an amazing Arabian-themed routine that merited 696.5 points, way better than four-peat-seeking UP Maroons’ 620.5 points that was good for second place.
Aside from the team event, NU will also defend the UAAP cheerdance side event - group stunts, which they also ruled behind the now famous ‘exorcism’ performance of Claire Cristobal.
The 2014 UAAP Cheerdance Championship is set on September 14 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.