UP Pep Squad
THE UP Pep Squad is again expected to take the cudgels in yet another disappointing season for the school’s men’s basketball team.
The Diliman-based dancers are gunning for their fourth straight title and ninth overall as they try to break away from University of Santo Tomas as the winningest team in the 19-year history of the cheerdance competition.
And their quest for greatness comes just as their basketball counterpart, the Fighting Maroons, continue to languish at the bottom of the standings and remain winless in 13 games.
No wonder the pressure is mounting on the reigning, three-time champions going into Sunday’s showdown at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Syempre kinakabahan kami pero excited, sobrang laki ng pressure,” said fourth year member Nicolette Ambulo.
“Kasi before ma-achieve ‘yung five-peat kailangan ma-achieve muna ang four-peat so kailangan talaga (manalo ngayon). Sobrang laki ng pressure, sa training pa lang pukpukan talaga kung pukpukan,” she added.
After stunning the audience by dying their hair blonde in a Madonna-inspired concept during Season 74, and then sporting a bald-look concept the following year, the reigning champions vowed to put on another jaw-dropping performance on Sunday.
“Let’s leave it to the people to guess. Basta it’s very UP pa rin,” said Arambulo. “’Yun na lang, expect that it’s going to be very UP. Pwedeng expect for the worst or the very bongga. Basta surprise na lang.”
Arambulo also stressed the team’s routine is not just about appearance, but more on substance.
“Linis ng routine (ang edge namin over other teams) kasi UP is known for its perfect run,” she said Ambulo.
“Tapos malinis lang `yung routine, simple siya compared to other teams pero its clean.”
NU Cheer Squadron
THE National University Pep Squad is out to prove there is more to it than its first ever podium finish in last year’s cheerdance competition.
Now more confident, the blue and gold cheerleaders are aiming to surpass their surprise third place finish last season as they look forward at winning their maiden championship.
And coach Ghicka Bernabe knows her team has what it takes to do it.
“The team is very excited for the upcoming competition, marami na naman kasi silang ipapakitang bago sa paningin ng lahat,” she noted.
“This is the new and improved NU Pep Squad.”
It’s going to be tough, Bernabe stressed, but is hopeful last year was just the beginning of good things to come for the team.
“Lagi naman nandyan 'yung pressure eh,” she said. “Lalo na at marami na ang nag-e-expect sa team this season, (but) we'll try our best to meet their expectations. We are very positive that we can make it again.”
“The team is really strong, they are so eager to learn new skills, and despite of their achievements they remain humble and grateful, and I believe this will lead them to the top.”