FEU relishes ruling UAAP Cheerdance in front of packed crowd–unlike last time
MANILA, Philippines — Winning the UAAP Season 86 Cheerdance Competition crown was sweeter for the Far Eastern University Cheering Squad than ruling the bubble edition with the team’s reign only lasting for six months then.
The FEU Cheering Squad coach Randell San Gregorio reclaimed the championship he lost in Season 85 as his team wowed the 18,122 fans with their near-flawless routine and spread nostalgia with the classic video game, Super Mario Bros, on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
It was a vindication for San Gregorio and his squad after finally winning a competition in full capacity as their last one was during the 15-member and three-minute routine before a limited and drumless atmosphere in Season 84.
“That was a different feeling then. This championship feels more [real]. We were only champions for six months the last time and we were dethroned right away,” said the FEU coach after winning his second championship in three competitions. “At least now we’ll get to enjoy this for a year as champions.”
“Having a 25-man team is the best. You can do so many things and the arena is full. At least now we can say that we won the title in front of a packed crowd. It’s a happier experience because we weren’t expecting anything. Plus we also got the special awards unexpectedly.”
The FEU Cheering Squad’s amazing Super Mario routine garnered the highest score of 702.5 points with only a five-point deduction to dethrone the NU Pep Squad and claimed all five special awards to bring home a total of Php 250,000.
Graduating team captain Aaron Ayalin said their superb performance was a combination of their past routines, bringing back their near-flawless routine from Season 84, which was inspired by the music of Queen, and learning their mistakes from their previous Francis Magalona performance that led to a runner-up finish.
“During the bubble, we had a smooth and flawless showing then the Francis M [routine] came and we struggled; everyone was emotional. This year, it’s a combination but the core learning from our coach was the flawless run during the bubble. What we got from Francis M are the things we needed to avoid,” said Ayalin.
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FEU’s initial goal wasn’t to win the title but it aimed to perform a flawless routine, which led to its fourth overall crown and 21st podium finish — the most by a school in the tournament.
San Gregorio, known for revealing his next theme for next year’s tournament, hasn’t come up with a plan for Season 87 as he wants to cherish his sweetest championship trophy with the team for now.