15 September 2013, 7:16 p.m. – “Bawi, ‘Gawi” didn’t happen.
Redemption didn’t come for members of the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe (SDT), who recorded their worst finish in 19 years in this year’s UAAP Samsung Cheerdance Competition held at the Mall of Asia Arena Sunday.
With an Egyptian-themed routine that failed to execute a three-layer pyramid, the SDT crashed to seventh place with 546 points. The National University bagged its first-ever title, followed by defending champion University of the Philippines, and De La Salle University.
UST found some consolation by placing third in the group stunts category.
“It’s frustrating. We did not think about the win and only wanted to perfect our routine,” said SDT president Dan Dimaculangan.
The loss marked the third-straight year that the SDT failed to crack the Top 3. Its Rio-inspired performance was good only for fourth place last year.
“We learned a lot (from this experience). We need to step up and prepare early (for next year’s competition),” Dimaculangan said.
The NU Pep Squad, which performed an Arabian-inspired routine, clinched the title after collecting 696.5 points. The UP Pep Squad settled for the second spot with 620.5 points.
NU had a shaky start, but its heart-stopping stunts and successful pyramid formations more than made up for it.
DLSU’s Animo Squad exhibited a military-themed performance, which earned third place with 596.5 points.
Last year’s runner-up Far Eastern University Cheering Squad fell out of the Top 3 for the first time with its Tron-inspired presentation, which garnered 589.5 markers.
Adamson University Pep Squad (559.5 points), University of the East Pep Squad (559 points) and Ateneo de Manila University Blue Babble Battalion (514 points) placed fifth, sixth and eighth, respectively.
The criteria for judging were divided into two categories. The cheer criteria included stunts (100 points), pyramid (100 points), toss (100 points) and tumbling (100 points), while the dance criteria include overall effect (20 points), choreography (30 points), technique (20 points) and group execution (30 points).
UST and UP own the most number of championships in competition history with eight cheerdance titles apiece.