UP Pep Squad. Out of the top three.
Despite winning two bronzes and one silver in the recent Cheerleading World Championships in Takasaki, Japan, UP was nowhere near a podium finish in this year’s cheerdance competition, ending the night with 575.5 points and in 6th place–the lowest score and place UP has ever had in its history.
But despite a lackluster comeback in the main competition, the squad still had a reason to hold their heads up high, after taking home third place in the group stunts category.
“Sobrang surprising,” said the squad’s co-captain Megan Mendoza Cabrera who was part of the team in that category. “Surprised talaga ako kasi compared to the other teams, our routine was really easy, but we trained very hard.”
After a one-year hiatus, the UP Pep Squad made its way back to the CDC stage with a different feel to the age-old story of the Iskos and Iskas.
“We always look forward to the UAAP CDC because we do it for the UP community,” said Cabrera. They even had the UP crowd sing along to an original song/cheer to kick off last Saturday’s routine.
“Ito talaga yung chance na makikita kami ng UP na ginagawa yung best namin,” she said. Inspired as ever kasi alam namin kahit wala kami ng isang taon, andito pa rin sila para sa amin.”
Community has been at the core of UP Pep Squad’s heart. Two years ago, the day after their heartbreaking 2nd runner up finish, the squad was back on the courtside to cheer their lungs out.
“Our main goal as cheerleaders is to be the backbone of support for the UP community, “said then-captain Cam Lagmay. “If they see us, the cheerleaders, being sad about our loss, that won’t do anything. We have to be strong for the UP community and for ourselves and we are very proud of our performance and we gave it our all.”
In that year of absence came a healing of sorts from the heartbreak, said Cabrera. For the community, what matters is that Pep Squad ng Bayan is back,
“We just want to be able to give a good run, and nakapag-deliver naman kami ng good run.”
Stepping into Saturday’s competition, probably no one except Adamson Univeristy expected that they would bring home the championship, winning it for the first time in the history of the competition.
“Now that we’ve seen everyone improve talaga, we’re gonna prepare for it.”