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DEFENDING CHAMPS

NU Pep Squad wants a ‘L3gacy’

By: - Reporter / @jwpayoINQ
/ 12:15 AM October 03, 2015
NATIONAL U Pep Squad’s energetic native American-themed dance. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

NATIONAL U Pep Squad’s energetic native American-themed dance. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

How to top an already fantastic routine is the biggest challenge for the National University Pep Squad.

While last year’s title-clinching performance already looked perfect, NU coach Ghicka Bernabe thinks there’s more to draw from her talented crew of gymnasts and dancers.

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READ: The #Inquirer hashtag guide to the #UAAPCDC2015

“There’s a lot of surprises for this season’s routine,” said Bernabe. “Every time we watch our performance last year, we already think it’s a difficult routine, a breathtaking routine. But if last year was tough, the routine we’re doing now is more difficult.”

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NU captured its second straight UAAP cheerdance championship last year with a native American-themed number highlighted by complex stunts, tosses and pyramids.
And NU knows the expectations are higher in their bid for a third crown.

READ: UPuso: UP Pep Squad dedicates cheerdance routine to student-athletes

“The pressure gets heavier and heavier,” Bernabe admitted. “It’s easier to aim for a championship rather than maintaining a championship. All eyes are on us.”
So Bernabe and her crew intend to deliver anew with a highly technical number. All details, though, remain confidential, just like in most teams.

“We know that people are expecting a lot from us—that we should have a high standard, quality routine and extraordinary stunts,” said Bernabe.

On paper, it may seem hard for NU to go for a repeat as half of the 30 listed members are rookies. But Bernabe noted that these gymnasts are not exactly greenhorns.

“We are still competitive,” she said. “Most of them are Team B members who have also been training with our Team A. We didn’t have a hard time teaching them the advanced stunts. Since the beginning, they know they should be ready any time when called up for Team A.”

Like in past seasons, NU expects perennial favorite University of the Philippines Pep Squad to figure in the title chase.

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“Their movements are clean,” Bernabe said of the UP Pep Squad, whose bid for a fourth straight championship got spoiled by NU in 2013.

“They usually have a very polished routine. With that, our concern is to match their clean routine, but we make our routine tougher.”

Also among the consistent contenders are the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe and the FEU University Cheering Squad.

“Both teams are strong in dance,” noted Bernabe. “Although we don’t have ballet dancers and jazz dancers, we make the most out of our strengths. We go strong on choreography.”

Before NU emerged as a new force, UP, UST and FEU stood as the cheerdance triumvirate as those three schools were the only ones who ruled the event for 18 years.

But the NU Pep Squad intends to stay as a threat to the league heavyweights.

“We know that all our opponents want us to go down in ranking,” said Bernabe. “The NU community also expects a lot now—that it should be a sure win. There’s pressure everyday, but we have no choice. We just have to accept that pressure.”

 

For more #UAAPCDC2015 stories, check out the UAAP Cheerdance Competition Special appearing on INQUIRER Varsity and the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Saturday.

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TAGS: Ghicka Bernabe, NU Pep Squad, Sports, UAAP CDC, UAAP Cheerdance Competition, UP Pep Squad
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