The 23,448-strong crowd of spectators that crammed the Araneta Coliseum last Sunday, Sept. 7, to witness the 2008 UAAP Samsung Cheer Dance competition was a record-breaking event in the history of the UAAP.
UP Pep Squad scored big with 93.3 points, making Diliman’s pride a back-to-back champ. UST Salinggawi Dancers got a distant 85.27 points, retaining its first runner-up title. Close on the heels of UST was the FEU Cheering Squad with a total score of 83.96, which was a hairline away from Ateneo’s Blue Babble Battalion that earned 83.41 for third runner-up. Adamson Pep Squad piled up 81.04 points, in contrast to the UE Pep Squad’s 72.69, that put the Falcons in a fifth place finish. DLSU Pep Squad’s 70.07 points and NU Cheering Squad’s 68.36 points made them 7th and 8th placers respectively.
While Adamsonians accepted the final verdict, some observers couldn’t help saying that AdU deserved a better score. In her Sept. 9 Pilipino Star Ngayon sports column, Dina Marie Villena wrote how her young daughter Lorraine, a student of St. Paul University, watched the entire competition, expecting AdU to make it to the top three because of the Pep Squad’s improved performance. To her dismay, AdU didn’t get the judges’ nod, despite, in her view, the squad’s improving routine over the past three years which she has been monitoring.
Mrs. Malou Gadilla Isip, one of the judges, shared her objective observation. “Regardless of being an Adamsonian, but from a juror’s point of view, I marked UP pep squad as the champion because among the 8 schools that performed, it was the only one that had a unique execution of their tribal concept put into a cheer dance routine,” she said. This newly appointed Officer-in-charge of the Office for Athletics and Recreation added that second in her list was the AdU Pep Squad because there’s total improvement in their stunts. You can see the hard work in order for them to come up with fresh choreography, pyramids and complex tosses and movements.
Many others may have stated in internet blogs and forums that AdU deserved better, however, it’s good enough that people will remember AdU’s remarkable performance. The Adamson Pep Squad deserves, more than anything else, the community’s warmest congratulations. Valerie G. Espiritu