The University of the Philippines Pep Squad was in vogue on Saturday, winning the UAAP Cheerdance Competition for the second straight year.
Featuring members with bleached blonde hair and black outfits inspired by pop star Madonna, the defending champions from Diliman put together a flawless routine to win the first-place trophy and the top cash prize of P340,000.
Cheerleading teams were judged according to dance technique (10 points), jumps (5), tumbling (5), tosses (5), lifts/stunts (10), pyramids (10), degree of difficulty (10) choreography (10), synchronization (10), audibility/clarity (10), and audience impact (5). A point is deducted from groups for minor errors while teams may be penalized by as much as five points for major errors.
The win was the latest in a string of victories for the vaunted UP Pep Squad, which also won the cheerleading competition in the Philippine National Games this summer. The team will represent the Philippines in the 6th World Cheerleading Championships in November in Hong Kong.
The De La Salle University Animo Squad made a surprise return to the podium, finishing second with a warrior-inspired routine. It was the team’s first finish in the top three in 12 years. But a strong summer, highlighted by a win in the Fil Oil-Flying V Cheerleading Competition last June, augured well for the Animo Squad’s chances.
The FEU Cheering squad, the 2009 champion, finished third. A team that boasts of some of the best athletes in the competition, FEU rolled out an impressive Bollywood-inspired routine that was marred by an error toward the end of the performance.
UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe, a perennial contender, finished fourth. The Adamson Pep Squad placed fifth, the NU Pep Squad sixth, the Ateneo Blue Babble Batallion seventh, and the UE Pep Squad eighth.
UP swept the afternoon’s competitions, as a five-person team representing the group also won the inaugural group stunts competition. FEU finished second while vastly-improved NU placed third.
Nesza Isabel Salvador made it a triple victory for UP, receiving the Stunner award from the event’s sponsor Samsung.