NU's 'risk' pays dividends in #UAAPCDC2015
Mark Escarlote on Oct 03, 2015 07:37 PM
We took the big risk and sabi nga namin kung namin susubukan papaano mo malalaman kung ano ang kakayahan ng team mo --- NU coach Ghicka Bernabe
National University took a big gamble in the 2015 UAAP Cheerdance Competition and it paid off.
With most teams settling for flawless and smooth performances rather than taking the risk of a more difficult routine, the NU Pep Squad pushed the envelope to outdo themselves from the previous back-to-back championship to complete a three-peat even with a handful of mistakes in their performance.
“We took the risk,” said NU coach Ghicka Bernabe moments after the announcement of the winners, Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“We took the big risk and sabi nga namin kung namin susubukan papaano mo malalaman kung ano ang kakayahan ng team mo,” she added. “Para sa amin laban lang ng laban parang tira lang ng tira kung anong kaya ng team. Kung hindi kaya e di go. Hindi naman dito natatapos ang career namin e, hindi naman sinabi na kapag natalo kami rito mawawala na kami sa NU Pep Squad.
Using a caveman concept with a theme of “NU Era”, the squad’s performance was highlighted by four pyramids and outstanding, fast-paced dance sequences that added to their routine's difficulty level.
The squad actually changed their theme just one month before the competition after learning that their original plan of an African-inspired routine was the same as that of University of Sto. Tomas.
NU had a total of six deductions including one incomplete pyramid, but still wowed the judges in other elements to top the competition with 668 points.
“Siyempre nag-alala din kami sa mga mistakes namin pero sabi ko, “teka lang, sa lahat ng universities, kami lang ang gumawa ng apat na pyramids.” And alam naming na magkaroon man kami ng isang minor or major flaw sa isang pyramid, tanggalin mo man yung isang pyramid namin alam namin na yung tatlong pyramid namin lumaban ng patas at lumaban ng maganda,” said the former Far Eastern University flyer.
Bernabe said that though there was a moment of doubt after their mistakes were jeered by opposing fans, the squad still felt that they would be keeping the crown in Sampaloc with their complicated routine.
“Yung level ng difficulty yun ang pinanghahawakan namin na alam namin na hindi ito basta-basta maagaw sa amin,” she said.
The squad was just hoping for the best during the announcement of winners.
“Still kung ano ang in-announce kanina, sinabihan ko na ang mga dancers ko na maging humble and i-accept kung ano ang magiging announcement whether kami man ang maging first runnerup or kami ang champion,” said Bernabe.
“Pero nabaligtad ang mundo, this year para siyang first championship namin. Parang sobrang sarap kasi mas tsina-challenge namin ang sarili namin na may mali na kami champion pa rin kami,” she added. “Iniisip na lang namin na siguro yung skills namin is somehow hindi namin hinayaan na mahabol kami ng ibang team.”
But when the University of Sto. Tomas Salinggawi Dance Troupe’s name was called after that of second runners-up University of the Philippines, NU knew they had it in the bag.
“To be honest, of course, may feeling ako na kami na. Kasi kumbaga sa level of difficulty yun talaga ang pinanghahawakan namin. Hindi kami nag-play safe, hindi kami nag-slow pacing para lang maging safe lahat ng routine,” said Bernabe.
For now, Bernabe and her NU squad just wanted to savor the victory.
“Ang sarap pala ng feeling na ganito na umabot kami sa three-peat na alam mo na konting universities lang ang nakakaabot dito, knowing na kung saan kami nanggaling. Sobrang sarap ng feeling, heaven. Parang ayaw mong matapos ang araw na ito.”
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