UP’s Pep Squad aims for a grand slam

By Izah Morales


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MANILA, Philippines ? Despite winning the cheerdance competition for the past two years, University of the Philippines? cheerdance team is still out to surprise the audience with a brand new routine this September.

?We always want to show something different,? said Lalaine Pereña, who has been coaching the UP Pep Squad since 1998. With only a month away left before the competition, the team practices four to five hours daily.

UP won last year?s cheerdance competition, winning over University of Santo Tomas? Salinggawi Dance Troupe and Far Eastern University.

Perena expects FEU?s cheering squad to put up a very good show this time around. ?They have good techniques and their dancers are good individually,? she said.

Nonetheless, Perena is confident of winning the title one more time given their international experience.

Last May, the squad competed in the Asian Cheerleading International Open in Tokyo, Japan and placed third in the international mixed group category.

?That experience helped us a lot. It showed us how far behind the Philippines is compared to other countries,? said Perena, who was part of UP?s cheering squad when the Maroons last won the basketball title way back in 1986.

?Other countries have the advantage it stunts but when it comes to choreography, we Filipinos are more creative,? she added.

Perena is also hoping to channel this creativity in their costumes. Last year, the UP Pep Squad wore tribal-inspired costumers in accordance with the agreed theme.

?I hope we can also surprise people with our costumes,? she said.

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