#UAAPCDC2015: First to perform, UP out to set the standard
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 02, 2015 04:44 PM
FIRST. The UP Pep Squad seek to end the competition just when it will be getting started.
From 2010 to 2012, the University of the Philippines Pep Squad were peerless in ruling the UAAP Cheerdance Competition.
Then in 2013, along came an upstart who stole all of their thunder and relegated them to runners-up for two years.
Now in 2015, the Diliman-based squad has vowed to reclaim its throne right from the start of the competition.
Slated to take the floor first, UP is only confident that their routine will set the bar for the other seven teams. “We really have this mindset that we have to set the standard,” co-captain Cam Lagmay told ABS-CBN Sports.
Co-captain Louie Castro also chimed in, “Lahat ng ginagawa natin may pressure, pero ang nasa isip namin talaga, kapag first kang papasok, dapat first ka rin sa rankings.”
Coach Pio Opinaldo even called being the contest’s curtain-openers as a “blessing in disguise.” “Tamang-tama yung number one kasi we have to take that spot sa umpisa pa lang,” he said.
Though supremely confident, the leaders of the Pep Squad were definitely not ones to shy away from admitting how painful it has been to be stuck in the rearview mirror of National University. “Masakit yung feeling the last two years kasi we didn’t bring the crown back to Diliman, pero after that, mas na-challenge lang kami to perform better and to create a routing na tatatak sa lahat,” Opinaldo said.
The 29-year-old mentor said that UP has no doubts whatsoever that the Sampaloc-based squad deserved to win the last two titles. “To give credit to NU, they really set the bar higher because of their skills. Napilitan din kaming i-set yung skills namin higher because of what they have,” he said.
In the view of co-captain Lara Limjap, NU’s polished routine comes from wanting the championship more than the other teams. “Nung na-experience nila yung nakapasok sa top three (in 2012), sobrang lumakas yung loob nila na kakayanin na talaga mag-champion. Ang lakas ng motivation nila kasi sobrang lapit na sa top one,” she told ABS-CBN Sports.
While back-to-back bridesmaid finishes are already more than enough to make them the hungriest team, Opinaldo said that UP will have to exert double effort in another advantage NU has over them: gymnastics. “Aminado talaga kami na ‘di kami ganun kalakas sa gymnastics kaya pinaghahandaan namin kung saan kami mahina,” he said.
Improving on their weaknesses, along with the Iskolars ng Bayan’s trademark innovation will be the UP Pep Squad’s trump card in this year’s competition. “Bilang UP, ‘di naman kami basta-basta magpapatalo sa kanila. We will maintain yung style namin to create something na hindi pa nagagawa,” Opinaldo exclaimed.
And what exactly is that “something na hindi pa nagagawa?” Of course, we will just have to wait for Saturday as the mentor said, “Abangan niyo na lang. Basta it will be a routine na punong-puno ng puso at utak.”
The 2015 UAAP Cheerdance Competition will take place on Saturday at the MOA Arena. All of the participants’ talents will be on full display LIVE starting at 2:00 PM only on ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel 23 as well as sports.abs-cbn.com.