Pressure of returning to the top made UST stronger, says coach
University of Santo Tomas is still trying to regain its once proud glory of being the UAAP’s undisputed cheerdancers, but the new Salinggawi Dance Troupe know it is getting there.
After missing out on a podium finish in 2016, the Salinggawi Dance Troupe roared back and took the silver medal in the Season 80 edition behind champions Adamson University Pep Squad.
“They absorbed everything,” said rookie head coach Marc Chaiwalla Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena. “The pressure was there but it made them hungrier and stronger.”
UST scored 638.50 of a maximum 800, behind Adamson’s 663.50, to nab a second silver medal in three years.
The Salinggawi Dance Troupe were once the kings of the cheerdance competition after winning eight titles in the first 12 years of the competition, but has seen a fall in its performance in the past eight years.
And Chaiwalla experienced the worst of it when UST finished in its lowest rank of seventh place back in 2013.
Now that he’s a coach, Chaiwalla just wanted his performers to leave everything on the floor.
“Of course our goal was to get back to the podium but as the days went by I wished that every single one of them would be safe, and that they would be happy with their performance,” said Chaiwalla. “If they’re happy, that’s more than enough for me.”
Salinggawi proved that it is back to elite status with a simple theme that’s dedicated purely to UST.
Clad in black with tiger stripes, Salinggawi took advantage of its dancing skills and highlighted its performance with a three-tier pyramid with a split at the top.
“It was super crazy, it’s really unexpected, and overwhelming, that we won the silver” said Chaiwalla in Filipino. “We’re really happy with this one.”
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