UNIVERSITY of the Philippines' 'bold and bald' performance left the crowd in awe and earned the approval of the judges, winning Saturday’s UAAP Cheerdance Competition at the MOA Arena.
From their Madonna-inspired blonde hair last year, the Diliman-based cheering squad entered the arena with short hair styles and executed their routine flawlessly on the way to winning their third consecutive crown and eighth overall.
"Right after the Madonna theme last year, naisip ko na agad yung bald," said UP Pep Squad coach Lalaine Pereña. "After Madonna, the next best thing is to go bald."
They won three straight from 1999 before University of Santo Tomas clinched six straight championships from 2002.
UP ruled the competition with its Oblation-inspired theme while using minimal props.
"I told them that we must do what we can for the team, for the school and for the country. That's our service," said Pereña.
The Diliman school squad actually scored a triple triumph on Saturday, with Nicolette Erica Ambulo bagging the Samsung Stunner award and a smaller UP team topping the Group Stunt competition.
Far Eastern University placed second, finishing on the podium for the 10th consecutive year. It placed third last year.
Taking a podium spot for the first time in 18 years was the National U Pep Squad, bagging third with a royal-themed performance to Disney music.
UST placed fourth followed by last year’s second-placer La Salle, Ateneo, Adamson and University of the East.