Last year’s podium finishers are expected to be the favorites anew in the UAAP Season 86 Cheerdance Competition happening on Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Of course, there is the NU Pep Squad, which just regained supremacy in the biggest special event of the league last season with its “Cheerobics” routine that proved to be a fitting storybook ending for coach Ghicka Bernabe, who retired right after winning her seventh crown to focus on family.
The NU Pep, now headed by coach Gab Bajacan, will perform second with a homage to the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley.
Although under a new coach, the defending champions still vow to put on a “death-defying” routine, something the team has been known for.
“Still, we will be the NU Pep Squad na malakas pa rin talaga, death-defying. Masusurprise pa rin sila,” promised Bajacan on Wednesday during the event’s press conference.
FEU Cheering Squad, which fell to second place after winning it all in Season 84, will try to touch nostalgia as they are set to perform a piece themed around Super Mario and old-school video games.
This would be a different attack for FEU as in the past seasons, they’ve always come up with a theme related to pop icons like Filipino King of Rap Francis Magalona, rock band Queen, and King of Pop Michael Jackson to name a few.
“Our focus this year is to perform the theme which is sobrang layo ng theme namin this year compared sa lagi naming theme which is pop icons,” said FEU team captain Sarah Jean Quintero, vowing to make a mark in this bold choice of diverting their theme to unfamiliar grounds.
The UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe – still the winningest squad in CDC history along with the UP Pep Squad with eight crowns apiece – will go with a Blackpink-themed routine.
“Gawi”, as they are fondly called, returned to the podium last season with a bronze finish after missing it for the past three seasons.
“For this year, we just made sure that everybody’s going to have fun and that Salinggawi will be able to stand up for what a lot of the people are trying to say that this year’s CDC will be saving the best for the last since we’re going to be the last performers,” said UST head coach Mark Chaiwalla.
UE Pep Squad will perform first and will have a 90s anime-themed routine, while Adamson Pep Squad will display their Trolls-inspired showpiece fourth.
UP Pep, which will be trying to break their six-season podium drought, will put Eraserheads and its song Alapaap in the spotlight when they perform fifth.
DLSU Animo Squad has yet to reveal their theme. However, team captain Lance Lacsamana said they will bring the energy and surprise the people with their routine.
They are aiming to get out of the bottom two, their place for the last six seasons.
Ateneo Blue Eagles will have a Super Bowl-themed performance as they seek to improve from their last-place finish in the past two editions.