ALL eyes will be on defending champion National University Pep Squad as the UAAP cheerdance competition unfolds at the Mall of Asia Arena today.
Victorious in seven of the last nine competitions, the Bustillos-based cheerdancers are eyeing to tie University of Santo Tomas’ Salinggawi Dance Troupe and University of the Philippines’ Pep Squad for the most number of titles with eight.
The decorated squad, set to perform second in the competition starting at 2 p.m., will usher in a new era with head coach Gab Bajacan taking over from longtime mentor Ghicka Bernabe.
“Yung challenge nga is I am more on cheering side and I am also the designer as well ng team. Si Coach Ghicka is more of the motherly love type of coach. Si Coach Jess is a dance coach talaga,” said the youthful coach with this squad showcasing a routine inspired by music icon Elvis Presley.
“So imagine-in ninyo kailangan kong maging mother and a dancer and a cheerleader at the same time,” he added.
Last season’s podium finishers, Far Eastern University Cheering Squad and UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe, however, are determined to reclaim the cheerdance throne.
The Morayta-based squad, aiming for a fourth crown overall, is motivated to deliver a “billion-dollar” performance inspired by the box office hit Super Mario.
“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 captain Sarah Jean Quintero, whose team will be performing seventh.
Meanwhile, UST will ride the current K-Pop wave.
“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 coach Mark Chaiwalla as the Salinggawi Dance Troupe will have the honor of closing out the show.
UP Pep Squad, will be performing fifth and are set to honor their own, the Eraserheads, with an “Alapaap”-inspired routine.
Opening the show will be the season-host University of the East with a 90s anime-themed routine.
The Ateneo Blue Eagles, performing third, promise a grand performance with their “Super Bowl: program, while Adamson Pep Squad, performing at No. 4, will display their Trolls-inspired showpiece.
Little is known about the La Salle Animo Squad’s routine, except that they are ready to light up the Mall of Asia Arena with their “LS Get Loud” theme.