UP Pep coach: ‘Wala kaming magagawa kundi i-represent ang UP’

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Nov 24, 2017 05:26 PM
UP Pep: ‘Wala kaming magagawa kundi i-represent ang UP'
LINGER. Not much has changed in the UAAP CDC - and that only means that the UP Pep Squad will be back to win hearts.

Apparently, the UP Pep Squad had a routine ready to go for last year’s UAAP Cheerdance Competition.

“Up to the last minute, we still wanted to compete. Ready na talaga kami to compete,” assistant coach Pio Opinaldo said. “But then, things were still not cleared so we just focused on yung ibang competition. Dun na lang namin nagamit yung routine namin.”

State U’s pride 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.

“Last year, ‘di sumali yung UP because we were questioning some parts of the rules that were left unanswered. We really wanted an answer not because we wanted to prove something, but because we wanted to clarify things,” Opinaldo said.

He then continued, “We wanted to know kung may mali ba sa routine namin. Importante sa amin yun para maging maayos yung routine namin for the next season.”

And so, rather than the UAAP, UP Pep instead competed in the Asian Cheerleading and Dancesport Competition.

That was a painful decision for the squad. “Personally, masakit yung nangyari kasi maganda talaga yung theme namin. Alam ko, kakayanin namin nun,” Thea Obanil, now the team captain, recalled.

Still, it was a painful decision that was shared by each and every member of the squad. “It was a unanimous decision not to join, to make that statement, na manindigan nga. It showed what UP Pep is all about,” Obanil said.

Fast forward one year and not much has changed in the competition. Asked about the questions that led to their protest a year ago, Opinaldo answered, “’Di pa rin siya malinaw, pero wala na kaming magagawa kung ‘di masasagot yun.”

In that light, the Fighting Maroons will just lick their wounds and will just rush headfirst back into the UAAP CDC. “It’s our obligation to join the competition. As the official cheerleading team of UP, we are really obliged to join the competition,” the assistant coach.

And whether or not their questions will have answers, Opinaldo said they will just fulfill what is expected of them – especially by the Diliman community. “Wala na rin kaming magagawa kundi mag-compete and represent the UP community,” he said.

When UP Pep returns to action in the 2017 UAAP CDC on Deember 2 at the MOA Arena, they will be looking at a field that has improved – with the NU Pep Squad dominating, the FEU Cheering Squad and the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe remaining as threats, and the Adamson Pep Squad opening eyes.

For the winningest squad in the tournament, that is only good news. “The competition this time is different from the previous competitions. I’m really happy na sobrang nag-level up lahat,” Opinaldo said.

Of course, all of the grace in the 2017 UAAP CDC will be on S+A, S+A HD, and sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/cdc.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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