MANILA, Philippines - The National University Bulldogs Pep Squad is all set for its defense of not just one but two UAAP titles when the 2014 UAAP Cheerdance Championship is held Sept. 14 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Bulldogs topped the UAAP Cheerdance tilt last year with an amazing Arabian themed routine that merited 696.5 points, way ahead of three-peat champions UP Maroons’ 620.5 points.
They also ran away with the UAAP cheerdance side event – the group stunts spiced up by the now famous “exorcism” stance of performer Claire Cristobal.
The Bulldogs have elevated eight members from their second team to beef up the main squad in what promises to be a thrilling battle for the championship among eight member schools.
“We are really preparing hard for our UAAP defense. In fact, we spent the summer training our flyers, then we had the ranking then we started our overall preparation in the first week of June,” said NU Pep Squad team manager Patricia Chunsim.
The Bulldogs are also going all out to redeem themselves from their third place finish in the last National Cheerdance Championships (NCC).
NU coach Ghicka Bernabe cited exhaustion, not overconfidence, as the reason why they lost their back-to-back title retention bid in the NCC, ruled by Central Colleges of the Philippines with University of Perpetual Help finishing second last April.
“There were so many factors, including the long wait as we were performed at No. 27. Imagine how long our team had to wait,” said Bernabe, whose grouped arrived at the venue at 6:30 a.m. and performed at 7 p.m. “The guys really wanted to focus but we waited for so long and were practically exhausted when we performed.”
“But we don’t want to dwell (on the loss) but to see to it that we keep on improving,” said Bernabe, adding that the team actually topped all the elements but committed several out-of-bounce errors that proved costly for the NU performers.
“It was a humbling experience. But we will look at that loss as a motivation. In fact, it made our players hungrier. But right now, our focus is back on the grand prize in the UAAP,” said Bernabe.
In the coming UAAP Cheerdance tilt, the Bulldogs will once again perform last among the eight participating universities in the team event, after the drawing of lots made UE as the first performer, followed by FEU, UP, UST, Ateneo, La Salle and Adamson.
“It won’t matter anymore whether we’d be performing first or last. We’ll just have to be ready. There will be no excuses, no room for mistakes,” said Bernabe, who vowed to come up with another breath-taking routine.
“Routines evolve every year and we know that all schools will come up with new ones. But for sure, we’ll have something new and big to offer this year.”