UP Pep surprised with third-place finish says Lagmay

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--With a near flawless, fall-free performance capped with a pyramid where some members formed a big heart signifying its "utak at puso" theme, many thought the UP Pep Squad was on the verge of reclaiming the UAAP Cheerdance Competition title at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday night.

But the 25,388 people in attendance were shocked when the so-called "Pep Squad ng Bayan" was named second runner-up, even dropping from the first runner-up finishes in the past two editions.

"[We were] very, very surprised that it took us so long to react when the announcement of winners happened, but we are very proud of our team," Team Captain Cam Lagmay said to a group of sportswriters after the event.

In spite of the result, she said that there was nothing to be ashamed of her team's stunt.

"We're still very proud of what we showed. We nailed all our stunts. Our level of difficulty was very high. Nag-perfect run kami. We did our best, and that's what matters," Lagmay continued.

She also revealed that she thought the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe, which also had an almost perfect run, will be at the top after the hosts announced UP as third.

"We saw UST, and we saw that they had a clean routine. We're really rooting for them," Lagmay continued.

Salinggawi, despite its own fall-free run, only finished first runner-up, and NU bucked off two huge falls to win a third straight cheerdance plum, putting most of the arena in disbelief.

"I don't wanna talk about that," Lagmay expressed her decision to stay mum about NU Pep's shock win.

Meanwhile, she also said that the UP Pep Squad will have a competition in Berlin in November.

Lagmay detailed, "We have a Berlin competition, which is the CWC (Cheerdance World Championship) in November, so we'll be preparing for that."

Follow the writer on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno