Redemption, revenge not on the minds of returning UP Pep

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 24, 2017 08:26 PM
Redemption, revenge not on the minds of returning UP Pep
WELCOME BACK. The UP Pep Squad's routine for its return is all for the UP community.

The UP Pep Squad will be back in the UAAP 80 Cheerdance Competition.

And they are all set to go all-out to reclaim the crown they have not worn for four years.

Or not.

According to State U’s pride, their return in what has become one of the most awaited events in the UAAP calendaris not about them, but all about their faithful over in Diliman. “Nakaka-miss din naman na mag-perform for UP. We’re doing this for the UP community,” assistant coach Pio Opinaldo said.

He then continued, “We’re joining not because we have to win. We’re joining because we want the UP community to be happy.”

The Fighting Maroons pulled out of the 2016 iteration of the event as a form of protest.

Then, they were still adamant that the results of the 2015 edition of the event “did not genuinely reflect adherence to the competition guidelines and criteria.”

In 2015, the NU Pep Squad reigned supreme with a total score of 668. UST then snatched second-place with 651.5 points while the Diliman-based squad ranked third with 610.5 points.

Now, UP Pep is not thinking about rules or results. As Opinaldo put it, “We just want to clarify na we’re not coming back dahil may gusto kaming patunayan or whatever. We’re coming back because we’re here to make the UP community happy and proud again.”

Indeed, what matters for them is the reception of the UP community. “Always naman, we do this for the UP community. Winning for us is just additional basta sa performance, we just do our very best,” team captain Thea Obanil said.

Obanil then reiterated that State U is not concerning themselves with the fact that the NU Pep Squad has taken their place as the most dominant squad in the tournament or the fact that they didn’t place in the podium for only the fourth time ever. “We’re just back. No revenge, no beating NU, we’re just back, UP Pep is back,” she said.

With that goal in mind, Diliman’s pride is eagerly looking forward to taking the cheerdance mat once more. “Personally, I’m very excited and siyempre, ganun din naman yung buong squad. Iba talaga yung feeling ng UAAP lalo na yung makikita mo yung buong arenang punong-puno ng UP,” their team captain shared.

A week before they officially make their return, UP Pep is still hard at work at bettering themselves. “I guess, we’re at 80 percent right now. For me kasi, every day is a chance for progress, a chance for us to beat our yesterday,” Obanil said.

She then continued, “Ang mindset lang namin dito is yung competition namin, yung sarili namin. Every day, kailangang may space for improvement.”

And when that time for their return finally comes, the winningest team in the tournament is not worrying about winning.

Instead, they just want to put on a show for the enjoyment of the UP community – and everybody else, for that matter. “Ang mapa-promise namin is to give a performance na makaka-relate talaga sila. Sobrang magiging proud (ang UP community) dun sa ipapakita namin – routine na galing sa puso, routine na pinaghirapan, routine na UP yung tatak,” Opinaldo said.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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