UP PEP Squad hopes to make a big jump to the podium after a disappointing result in its return to UAAP competition last season.
Graduating Maegan Mendoza Cabrera and Mika Sales, two of the three team captains of UP PEP Squad, hope to inspire the team to a solid performance as they seek redemption in the UAAP Cheerdance Competition 2018 on November 17 at MOA Arena.
After skipping the 2016 edition, UP returned last season and placed sixth — only the second time the team failed to finish on the podium since the event started in 1994.
“Hindi ka rin pwede magpadala sa mga failures mo from the year before, you just have to keep on working to get that,” Cabrera said.
“We’re training na magawang perfect yung run namin kasi kapag nagawa namin siya ng perfect, we know from there na maganda yung kakalabasan niya.”
“Siyempre hindi naman mawawala yung gusto namin makabalik sa podium pero like personally to be able to do this routine and outdo ourselves from last year would already be a great victory for the team,” she added.
Preparing for her final performance, Sales hopes to leave a mark as the younger members take over.
“Goal lang namin now is to be able to teach them all that we can teach them before we leave and perform out hearts out on the mats for the last time.”
UP assistant coach NJ Antonio admitted that the level of cheerdance competition is getting higher, and competition is getting tougher.
“Hindi namin maikakaila na yung competitive dito sa Pilipinas hindi lang sa UAAP, mabilis yung pag-angat and since hindi naman kami nagrerecruit ng athletes kumbaga we start always every year from scratch,” Antonio said, noting that only one in the squad of 25 is a competitive gymnast.
Antonio is confident that his wards will deliver a solid performance.
“Yung team namin promising naman in terms of puso nandiyan palagi hindi mawawala yan. Pagiging ready yes palagi naman naming sinasabi na kahit anong mangyari dapat pagdating doon sa araw na yun all-out kami,” he said.
Third captain Cyrus Benjamin vows UP will deliver a much improved performance from last year.
“Nagfocus talaga kami sa mga form namin ngayon and yung difficulty din, sobrang nagimprove din yun talaga ang maaassure ko is a happier performance for everyone.”