NU cheerdance champs at last

Bulldogs Pep Squad dethrones UP; La Salle 3rd


VICTORIOUS members of the National U Pep Squad savor the moment after their near-flawless coup at MOA Arena. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

National University continued its phenomenal rise to the top in the varsity league.

After claiming the No. 1 spot in all basketball divisions, the NU Bulldogs Pep Squad stunned the traditional favorites with a flawless routine to capture its first championship in the UAAP cheerdance competition yesterday at the jampacked Mall of Asia Arena.

The Bulldogs, who crashed into the top three for the first time last season, spoiled University of the Philippines’ bid for a fourth straight crown with a perfectly executed Arabian-themed number that garnered 696.5 points.

“We don’t want to be left behind,” NU coach Ghicka Bernabe said after the Bulldogs emerged as the first school to cop the title outside of the cheerdance triumvirate of UP, Far Eastern University and University of Santo Tomas.

“Our team wanted to show that we can keep up with everyone because all our sports teams are improving. There was pressure. But it’s that pressure that motivated us.”

The surprise feat came just days after NU topped the basketball divisions in the men (10-4 record), women (12-2) and juniors (14-0) at the end of the eliminations, proving once again that the Bulldogs have shaken off the tag of league doormat.

Garbed in glitzy gold and blue costumes, the Bulldogs wowed the massive boisterous crowd of over 20,000 with their stunts, tosses, pyramids and dance number.

“We were very successful with our concept,” said Bernabe after her Bulldogs bagged the P340,000 cash prize. “We wanted our performance to be fast-paced, where no one will blink. We wanted it to be very precise, unique and strong.”

The National University pep squad wows the jam-packed Mall of Asia Arena crowd with its flawless routines en route to its first ever UAAP Cheerdance Championship. It foiled the University of the Philippines’ bid for a fourth straight crown with an Arabian-themed number. UP settled for second place while De La Salle University wound up third. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

The UP Pep Squad, which had hoped to clinch a record nine overall titles in the league’s annual blockbuster event, settled for a runner-up finish with 620.50 points and a P200,000 prize.

Flashing a pumped-up party routine, the Maroons performed difficult stunts but stumbled in some parts of their number, which merited an 18-point deduction compared to NU’s one-point penalty.

La Salle showcased a solid military-themed routine to garner 596.5 points and a P140,000 prize as one of its dancers, Anna de Leon, also received the Samsung Stunner special award.

The Bulldogs, whose boys sported shaved heads and the girls tightly braided ’dos, swept the competition by also ruling the Group Stunt. FEU finished second followed by UST.

“Everyone just trusted each other,” said NU team captain Adrian Alban.

The FEU Cheering Squad, runner-up last season, slipped to fourth with 589.5 points, followed by Adamson (559.5) and University of the East (559).

UST’s Salinggawi Dance Troupe, tied with UP for the most number of crowns at eight, absorbed their worst finish at seventh (546), while Ateneo wound up last (514).

NU pulled off the convincing win after earning the highest score in every category: tumbling (85 points), stunts (74), tosses (90), pyramids (88.5) and dance (360).

“We wanted it to be authentic, something fresh in the audience’s eyes,” said Bernabe. “We came out with a strong fighting spirit. This team is very united. No one hesitated to do whatever we wanted them to do. We really maximized our time for training,”

The event drew a crowd of 20,830, the biggest crowd the arena has drawn since it opened last year.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • IreneGem

    Galing ng routine nila!

  • ofwvnpsh

    NU now a Sports Power.
    Thanks Mr. Henry and Hans Sy.
    Cheers FVR!!!

  • Maglalawis

    Good job NU! Defend the title next year otherwise, nakatsamba lang kayo kasi madaming failures sa execution ng mga powerhouse na pep squads. I commend na malinis ang executions nyo pero difficulty wise, di nyo pa abot ang level ng UST at UP. Nevertheless, you deserve the title. Next year ulet, galingan nyo pa.

    • aryel

      Agree with you on this.

  • Pork lover boy

    walang masyadong pera ang UP. Nasa bulsa ng mga senators/congressmen.

  • JeffHenson

    of Course thats the future SM employees.. NU hired consultant from the US, as what i have seen during the interview of coaches before the competition, This shows NU with the help of Henry Sy Sr Foundation, used their mind and talent, Dont depend much on Local ideas…

    sometimse we filipinos are super believe in ourself, think local mind ideas will stand super among us filipinos.. So ngayon mag hire na din ng mga Consultant ang ibang schools… but its too late SM NU “we got it all for you”… Gone are the days of Makabayan University,,, Its time to Privatized UPs and the shiney days of Ateno thinking superiority.. Hail to all tycoons buying Chain of old University all over the Philipines, and make it into ONE, to avoid employment Monopoly..AMEN

  • RedvD

    Iba talaga ang nagagawa ng pera ni Henry Sy..

    • boboposter

      iba talaga pag bitter

      • aryel

        tanggapin na lang na panalo talaga ang NU

    • Daang_tuwid

      Tama,nung panahon ko, walang ipinanalo ang NU..wala ring estyudante maliban sa mga kick out ng magagaling n school

  • quenchy

    With NU at the top of the standing of the UAAP men’s basketball, it looks like its the year of NU

  • Preemptive_Thinking

    “The event draw a crowd of 20,830, the biggest crowd the arena has drawn since it opened last year.” – DREW po dapat -

    • bryanbrian

      tama naman ah, “has drawn.”. mali ang gusto mo, magiging “has drew”.

      • Iggy Ramirez

        She was referring to the first draw. What she wanted to say was “The event DREW a crowd of 20,830, the biggest crowd the arena has drawn since it opened last year”

      • Mookie Bayless

        basa basa muna

      • Preemptive_Thinking

        The event DREW. . . (anyway, naitama na po nila)

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos