[First of an eight-part series]
UNIVERSITY of the East may be loaded with a bunch of rookies for the 2014 UAAP Cheerdance Competition, but for coach Gibson Perez his first timers are the team’s biggest assets.
Despite 16 of his 25 dancers being rookies, Perez believes the hunger and competitiveness of his young cheerdance team will bring them closer to the league elite on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I think sa dami ng rookies namin, eh 'yun ang magiging advantage namin,” said Perez. “May tiwala ako sa team and kahit karamihan rookies, ang mindset lang dapat angkinin nila ang Araneta sa September 14."
After finishing sixth last year, the UE Pep Squad coach vowed to come up with a much improved routine that can earn the school a spot in the top three - if not the title outright.
Perez and his cheer dancers have mastered their stunts and skills to compete neck-and-neck against some of the league's top contenders.
"I think lahat ng schools dobleng surpresa ang gagawin," he said. "You'll see a different UE Pep Squad. This year we have improved a lot on our skills than the previous years."
"Siguro sa stunts at skills doon kami may advantage," he added.
Other squads vying for honors: