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Salinggawi gearing to bring back glory days

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 03:45 PM December 03, 2017

Salinggawi Dance Troupe performs during the 2017 UAAP Cheerdance Competition at Mall of Asia Arena. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

There was a time in the history of the UAAP cheerdance competition when the Salinggawi Dance Troupe of University of Santo Tomas would just show up and take the trophy.

UST was the first dynasty of the exhibition after winning eight titles in the first 12 years of the competition.

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But it has since faired in and out of the podium with Salinggawi’s last championship happening back in 2006.

Salinggawi hit a low point in 2013 when the famed group finished at seventh and the term “Sawinggawi” was infamously coined to mock the once formidable cheerdance institution.is current Salinggawi crop is not letting that 11-year drought taunt them.

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“We want to bring back the glory days of UST,” said Salinggawi team captain Benjo Gutierrez in Filipino after taking the silver medal of Season 80 Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena. “We want to become like the original Tigers who won five straight.”

UST’s second-place finish was its second in three years, and although it’s still not the luster the Salinggawi is looking for, it’s a step back the right direction.

“We have to be passionate, trust the process, and trust ourselves,” said Gutierrez.

And pushing the current Salinggawi is a former member turned rookie head coach Marc Chaiwalla who orchestrated UST to 638.50 points in his first UAAP competition.

Gutierrez said it was Chaiwalla who pushed them past their limits and made them realize that they are capable of achieving more than what they initially thought of.

“Our coach challenged us to be more fearless, to be bolder,” said Gutierrez. “He challenged us to exceed our expectations, he pushed us to newfound capabilities we never knew we could do.”

“At first there was an adjustment period when he took over, a really long one, but we trusted the process rather than complaining,” said Gutierrez.

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TAGS: Benjo Gutierrez, Sports, UAAP Season 80 cheerdance competition, University of Santo Tomas Salinggawi Dance Troupe
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