By Gerry Plaza
The air in the stadium is heated and intense.
Two quarters pass and everyone remains excited and befuddled, depending on which side you are on, on what transpired. But then suddenly, you hear drums playing that familiar beat and a group of men and women in outfits that spring our senses up with school colors make that grand entrance in unison.
You all stand up and shout to the top of your lungs.
They yell, scream and gyrate to the beat of the fabled school cheer—and all who share the same colors just blissfully follow. That indeed is the magic of the cheering squad, one important winning element in college basketball very much emphasized in the last 22 seasons of the UAAP. Those two decades when the cheering squad itself became the focal point of all the action—and, quite deservingly, being cheered on to victory by their appreciative schoolmates and followers.
The UAAP Cheerdance Competition shows a different kind of athleticism in college sports—teamwork, agility, grace, and determination all in a difficult display of perfect physical harmony and orchestration.