NATIONAL University Pep Squad produced a lively and synchronized “Cheer-obics” performance to annex the UAAP Season 85 cheerdance crown before 18,029 fans Saturday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Riding on a strong showing on dance, which coach Ghicka Bernabe emphasized prior to the competition, stunts, pyramids, and tosses, NU’s high-risk, high-reward showing gave its decorated cheerdancers 723 points to end Far Eastern University Cheering Squad’s six-month reign in the league’s biggest special event.
“Yung happiness ko mas malaki sa arena,” said Bernabe, who steered NU Pep Squad to seven titles in nine seasons. “It’s a milestone for me as a coach.”
“Yung fact na nag-first runner-up ay bonus na sa amin ito,” said coach Randel San Gregorio.
“Gratitude and being proud I am. It’s really overwhelming, it’s amazing,” said UST coach Mark Chaiwalla.
With seven titles, NU moved closer to UST and University of the Philippines Pep Squad, which are still tied as the most successful cheerdance squads with eight.
Both San Gregorio and Chaiwalla paid tribute to the legacy left by Bernabe, not only in the UAAP but to the Philippine cheering community.
“She is the heart and soul of NU,” said San Gregorio on Bernabe, who is an FEU alumna.
University of the East Pep Squad placed fourth with 606.5, followed by Adamson Pep Squad (595), UP Pep Squad (575.5), DLSU Animo Squad (528.5), and Ateneo Blue Eagles (502.5).