[Third of a series]
NO where to go but up.
After a disappointing seventh-place finish last year, the multi-titled University of Santo Tomas Salinggawi Dance Troupe aims to bounce back big in the 2014 UAAP Cheerdance Competition on Sunday.
The eight-time champion hopes to erase the pain of the past after ending up with its worst finish since the cheerdance competition was institutionalized in 1994.
Ramon Pagaduan, now in his third year as coach, said he constantly reminds his dancers that as they hit rock bottom, there will be no other way to go but up.
And being a cohesive unit will be one of the major keys in their return bid for a podium finish.
"Nire-remind kami ng coach namin lagi na there's no where to go but up," said team captain MC dela Cruz.
"And naniniwala kami doon. Lagi niya pinapaalala sa amin na we're brothers and sisters and sa loob ng dance floor kami lang ang magtutulungan and with that ma-exceed namin 'yung expectations sa amin," he added.
Salinggawi last went up the podium in 2010 when it finished in third place.
The team admitted it is still licking the wounds of last year’s loss when it paraded an Egyptian-inspired routine which, ironically, didn't see a single human pyramid formed.
"Syempre for us nahu-hurt din naman kami pero lagi namin sinasabi na ginagawa namin siyang motivation. Gusto lang naman namin ma-uphold ang UST (winning tradition) and 'yung mga supporters namin," dela Cruz said.
"Hindi na lang namin minamasama 'yung mga sinasabi nila sa amin kasi alam din namin na dadating din 'yung time na magiging proud din sila sa amin. Kasi we are giving our best effort para sa fans and haters. 'Yung mga ginagawa namin para sa kanilang lahat."
But the outspoken skipper said the rest of the team has already moved on.
This time, Salinggawi vows to show to its critics the team is still far from done.
“Ngayon new chapter na kasi syempre hindi pwedeng mag dwell sa past kailangan mag move on,” said dela Cruz.
“Every run we aim for a perfect routine, 'yung 'wag kami maging kampante sa ok-na-yan kind of performance, mas gusto namin na maganda sa ok, 'yung perfect," he added.
As in the past, `Gawi’ alumni visit the team’s practice to bring sweets in an effort to give the current batch what they call a `sugar rush,’ with the hope of bringing the championship back to Espana.
UST is currently tied with University of the Philippines as the winningest teams in the 20-year history of the cheerdance competition, each with eight titles.
Other squads vying for honors: