When the Adamson Pep Squad were declared as the champions of the 2017 UAAP Cheerdance Competition, hysteria filled the jampacked SM Mall of Asia Arena. But no one was more elated than head coach Jeremy Lorenzo.
“Nung na-announce na gold kami sabi ko, ‘Lord, totoo ba ‘to? Gisingin niyo ko!’
“I was really, really speechless, hindi ko alam unang iisipin ko,” he admitted.
Lorenzo has been with the program ever since his 2007. He spent all five of his collegiate years as part of Adamson’s cheer group before returning to the program as head coach last year. Moreover, he still kept his day job to make both ends meet.
Though not being formally trained to be a dance mentor, Lorenzo single-handedly turned the program around. In his first year, Adamson notched its first-ever podium finish.
Coming off a third place finish, the youthful mentor needed to up the ante. And he did so by returning to basics.
“Last year talaga sobrang stepping stone namin kasi nag-second runner up. Talagang na mold namin yung mga bata sa disiplina, spiritually, mentally, physically,” he recalled.
“Then nag start na kami sa difficulty ng cheerleading elements. Hindi kami totally nag-start sa advance, tinry muna namin mild difficulty, then after last year nung nag podium half of the year graduated puro seniors kasi,” he added.
“After that yung rookies at Team B namin, pinasok namin sa same process sa pag mold ng discipline then tinry namin i-step up difficulty from last year then from there sinubukan naming lagpasan routine last year.”
During their performance, almost every single member of the 19,851-strong crowd danced to their beat as their selection turned the arena into a huge dancefloor with his troops lighting it up with an 80’s inspired outfits.
“After kasi nung Polynesian last year nag plan na ako ng possible routine for next year. I was inspired to make an OPM routine kasi sa cheerdance bihira manalo gumamit ng OPM,” he said as the songs he chose included VST and Company classics, “Rock Baby Rock”; “Awitin Mo, Isasayaw Ko”; “I-Swing Mo Ako”; and “Magsayawan”.
“Why not VST? Tutal very iconic siya sa mga Pinoy and sure akong makaka-relate lahat.
“It’s not how intense or serious your theme is it’s about how you win the hearts of the people. Yun ang pinaka motto ng Adamson — to win hearts and trophies,” he added.
But now that he has steered his alma mater to the top, he still remains grounded. Moreover, Lorenzo was flattered that Adamson Pep is now in the same lines as former champions UST Salinggawi Dance Troup, UP Pep Squad, NU Pep Squad, and FEU Cheering Squad.
“It’s really a complex situation pag mga ganyan. Ang akin kasi, the more na i-strive mo yung dancers mo kung ano talaga yung halaga ng potential ng skills nila,” he reflected. “Hindi nila ma-rerealize yung unless na sumunod sila sayo, unless they see it themselves. Kung mahilera kami sa NU, UP, at UST it’s very flattering and overwhelming.
“Pero we still have more room for improvement pa sinasabi nga bilog ang bola eh.”
Instead, the Adamsonian is just happy to give back to the school that molded him to what he is today.
“Pinaka naging motivation ko yung time sa Adamson nung 2007 until 2012. We were win-less at na-experience ko yung pagiging talo buong college life ko,” he shared.
“Yun yung naging motivation at inspiration ko yung frustration ko — ibawi yung mga panahon na nakaramdam ako ng talo.”