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THE UP PEP EFFECT? | Only 17,850 show up at UAAP cheerdance clash

Unlike the usual, there were plenty of vacant seats in this year's UAAP cheerdance event.
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—Did the UP Pep Squad's decision to forgo this year's UAAP Cheerdance Competition take its toll on the crowd turnout at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday night?

Only 17,850 paying patrons flocked The Big Dome for the perennial cheering showdown, a far cry from even the last time the said arena hosted the contest in 2014.

Usually, Smart Araneta is already on SRO before the start of the program with hundreds of fans still waiting at the box offices for a chance to score tickets.

However, when the cheerdance competition proper started by 3 p.m. of Saturday, a good number of seats remained vacant.

Even during the performances, the vacant spots were noticeable.

The said gate attendance is already considered jam-packed by the Smart Araneta Coliseum standards as it can fill up to 15 thousand people on seating capacity alone.

The sides of FEU, UST, and NU, which like UP are usually so packed that they even have to "borrow" seats from the other sections just to accommodate them, are full as expected.

However, the turnout was eye-popping in an unkind manner as it only comprises a little less than 70 percent of the number of people who filled the Mall of Asia Arena last year (25,388) while also way less than the 22,093 who came to Smart Araneta two years back, proving that UP Pep's absence was definitely felt.

In both occasions, NU Pep won the title with last year's controversial title defense sparking UP Pep's choice to beg off this year.

[Related Story: IT'S FINAL | UP PEP Squad skips UAAP Cheerdance]

This time, however, NU Pep made sure its championship win would be unquestionable by going for a clean stunt to accomplish a four-peat.

[Related Story: NU Pep flawlessly succeeds in four-peat bid]

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno