Picking inspiration from the movie ‘Coco’, the National University Pep Squad proved that they are not yet dead, rising from the ashes of last season to pick up the UAAP Season 81 Cheerdance Competition championship.
This is NU’s fifth cheerdance crown in six years. And what a way to snap out of their six-year worst finish last year.
December 2, 2017 was the day of the dead for NU Pep. The four-time champions could not perform at their optimum, letting their nervousness get the best of them as they performed first.
This time around, NU Pep gave the crowd a flawless performance. As the routine ended, the 20,117 in attendance danced with this group of young men and women, turning the SM Mall of Asia Arena into a huge Día de Muertos event.
NU ended up a head above the competition, tallying 711 points – the top in tumbling, stunts, and pyramids, and second in tosses. Moreover, they had no errors.
Second place-finishers Far Eastern University Cheering Squad then turned the arena into a huge disco hall, integrating the top hits of the 70’s into their routine.
FEU ended up with 655.5 points. The Cheering Squad, who finished last season in fourth place, picked up their sixth silver in the annual event that celebrates the people who cheer on the league’s sporting teams.
Defending champions Adamson Pep Squad rounded up the podium, as they hacked out a bronze place finish. With everyone wondering what their theme Orange is the New Blue meant, Adamson Pep gave a performance greatly inspired by the classic “The Lion King”.
Adamson raised their tally to a gold, a silver, and two bronzes in the 24 years of the competition.
And it was their few errors that proved to be the difference, as Adamson only had two deductions – leading to a 638.5 to 638 lead over the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe.
UST, who were the people’s team, had a performance that paid tribute to the cultural influence of Beyonce Knowles.
In their second year since returning to the fold, the UP Pep Squad’s ‘Iskulay ng Sablay’ performance put them in sixth. The Ateneo Blue Babble Battallion’s Disney Princess-inspired piece landed them seventh, ending the squad’s six-year streak of finishing last.
The DLSU Animo Squad finished last, The team full of rookies suffered a handful of errors, resulting in a tournament-high 21 deductions.
The 10-man crew that judged the competition were headed by Paula de la Llana-Nunag. Joining her are Douglas Nierras, Bianca Valencia, Rina Tu Chia-Ni, Nancy Crowe, Wilson Song, Lim Chin Hau, Terumi Uekusa, Elaine Lapuz Tan, and Celine Tanjuatco.