THE National University Bulldogs Pep Squad hopes to become only the third team in UAAP history to go back-to-back in the Cheerdance Championship when they defend the crown on Sunday.
Riding the slogan 'Bark-2-Back,' the Bulldogs hope to continue their emergence as a force to be reckoned with in a competition where perennial champions University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas are bent on reclaiming lost glory.
“Every team, no doubt, is after us. That’s why we prepared for four months in trying to perfect our routine. We know it’s not going to be easy, but we’ll surely make the competition tougher,” said NU Bulldogs coach Ghicka Bernabe as the team wound up its last practice at the EComm Center inside the SM Mall of Asia compound in Pasay City.
“Like in the past, our only objective is to show that NU is no longer the whipping boys of UAAP in cheerdancing, we’re happy to have been a catalyst in taking the competition to a higher level,” she added.
Since the MacroIndustrial Group of Companies of team big boss Macario Gaw Junior began supporting the team in 2011, the Bulldogs have been on a steady rise, finishing sixth that same year, third in 2012 and finally snaring the team and group stunts titles last season.
“We’re already here. Hindi na po kami papayag na bumaba pa ulit ang estado namin. Hindi po kami nagsakripisyo nang husto para hayaang mawala pa sa amin ang korona,” said NU team captain Precious Lorraine Chavez.
“Andito na kami (sa itaas). We will protect our turf. Kaya nga po Bark to Back ang slogan namin ngayon,” she said.
Chavez however tips eight-time champion UP, UST and FEU as other favorites.
“We will give them a good fight. Pero tingin ko mas ilag sila sa amin dahil sa kami ang defending champion tapos yung performance namin last year,” added Chavez.
“Pero kami naman… hindi yung mga kalaban ang tinitignan namin kungdi mas focused kami na higitan yung performance namin last year,” she said of NU’s Arabian-themed routine that earned the team a whopping 696.5 points, 76 points better than the record of UP.
The Maroons on the other hand vow to come up with a fierce performance, which is already being talked about on the social networking site Facebook.
“Wala akong tinitignang favorite this time, not even NU. Sa akin kasi lahat I consider a threat, kasi every year we are always surprised with any team, kasi anybody can just come up,” said UP Pep Squad coach Lala Perena.
“Even UST can do a comeback,” added Perena, whose team suffered a lot of drops in the formation of their human pyramid last year.
“It’s not a theme, it’s a team… it’s not a theme, it’s a vision.”
The UAAP season 77 Cheerdance wars will take place at the Smart Araneta Coliseum with host UE the first performer followed by FEU, UP, UST, Ateneo, La Salle, Adamson and NU in that order.