#UAAPCDC2015: NU Pep Squad looks to make it bark-to-back-to-back
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 02, 2015 07:30 PM
TOPPING ONE'S SELF. Two-time defending champion NU said their own selves are their biggest competitors.
Two-time NCC champions. Back-to-back UAAP champions. ICU World medalists. Experienced? Yes. Pressured? Most definitely.
Once the long-time underdogs in the cheerdance competition, the NU Pep Squad (NUPS) has been showing spectators, both local and international, just how mighty the Bulldogs are. Since former Far Eastern University cheerleader Ghicka Bernabe took over as head coach of the Sampaloc-based squad, we’ve seen the team finish the competition sixth, third, and first, respectively. Then, you know, first again.
However, they failed to take all the hardware home the last time around after placing third in the stunts competition. “Pero kailangan namin ng ganung experience. Pangit din kapag tuloy-tuloy yung panalo,” assistant coach Gabs Bajacan said. “Tinuruan kami nun na we need to work more pa, dapat clean talaga yung skills at sure sa stunts.”
Known for their already killer stunts, the daring NUPS boldly said that they are taking everything to a whole new level. In other words, may mas lalala pa pala sa naipakita nila, guys. Coach Gabs even shared, “Nag-risk talaga kaming i-hard. Pero siyempre may kapalit na consequence if not executed properly. It’s either very good ang kalalabasan o very sayang.”
While coach Ghicka still has the same coaching staff and half of the members that competed in the ICU World Championships, they all acknowledge that defending the crown won’t be a walk in the park.
Twelve rookies from Team B are coming after the team lost a number of cheerleaders, mostly lifters, to graduation. “Wala kami masyadong big guys na taga-buhat. Kaya kung sinong nandiyan, mina-maximize nalang. We extract what’s left and we push them to their limits,” Bernabe said.
But of course, they’re still going for something that’s realistically possible. In fact, their routine (and even their theme) has been tailor-made to their identity and strengths. “Mas gymnasts pa rin kasi yung meron namin. So we’ll still focus more on cheerleading than dance kahit magkasing bigat lang sila (sa points). Yung theme, hindi rin namin pinilit. It’s very simple but also very clean, very pulido,” Bernabe added.
A concept they’ve been working on since summer, the NU Pep Squad will showcase their Indian-inspired, hard-hitting routine. It’s not too far from their Native American pakulo in Season 77, but they promise it will still be something different.
Asked who they think their biggest competitors are, the blue and gold gave the usual everyone’s-improving-so-anything-is-possible answer. Quite interestingly, however, they followed it up by saying that if there’s any performance they have to top, it would be their own.
“Nandiyan ang FEU, ang UP. Pero ang mas dapat kalabanin ang sarili. All the other teams, ang tinitingnan at ginagawang benchmark yung champions. Kami yun. So kailangan ang tingnan namin, ang mas higitan namin ay mga sarili namin,” Bernabe concluded.
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.