MANILA, Philippines — With toughest competitors Far Eastern University and University of the Philippines churning out less than perfect performances, National University stood out.
From perfect lifts to complex yet sturdy pyramids, the Bulldogs Pep Squad kept everyone at the edge of their seats with its flawless showing on Sunday in the 2013 UAAP Cheerdance Competition.
“Mataas expectations namin sa lahat ng teams. Alam namin makikipagtagisan yung mga ibang teams. Yun ang pinantayan namin,” said head coach Ghicka Bernabe, who help turn the team into champions.
“I’m very suprised sa performance ng ibang schools. Alam ko kasi na pag gumawa sila ng performance polished at synchronized, kaya yun pinaghandaan namin.”
The Bulldogs Pep Squad, who trained five months for the competition, wanted to start with a bang with the Arabian Nights theme.
“Gusto namin from 0 seconds to six minutes, walang pipikit at walang dead air,” she also said. “Precise, unique and stong. Ayaw namin nang paulit-ulit.”
NU dethroned four-peat seeking UP Pep Squad with an overwhelming lead of 76 points, topscoring in all the criteria for judging from tumbling, stunts, tosses, pyramids and dance aspect.
“Nag-focus kami sa dance. Kasi sabi nila pang cheerleading lang kami. Siguro wala na magsasabi nun,” said Bernabe, whose squad earlier this year also nabbed the National Cheerleading Competition title.
The 25-year-old Bernabe, who used to dance for the FEU cheering squad, arrived in NU in 2011 — and that’s when the team’s rise from constant eighth placer to the podium finisher commenced.
“First thing in mind nung dumating ako, baguhin perception ng tao. Ito talaga target namin this year. Perfect timing, perfect people,” she said.
It was the Bulldog Pep Squad’s first ever cheerdance competition crown, joining the elite company of champions in FEU, UP and University of Santo Tomas.
“Ayaw ng mga bata naiiwan ang NU. Gusto namin makipagsabayan kasi umaangat na mga ibang sport,” Bernabe said.