The NU Pep Squad stamped its class anew, displaying a masterful Filipino-themed performance to successfully defend its UAAP Cheerdance Competition title Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The back-to-back champions, who continue to set the standard in collegiate cheerdance, claimed their sixth trophy in seven years. They proved to be on a different level as they topped most categories and finished with 722 points.
NU paid tribute to Filipinos in its routine this season, after its golden Mexican-themed performance last year.
"It's our time to give back to the Filipino," said NU coach Ghicka Bernabe. "As we said, we are 'balik-bayan' now. All of the people who supported us, we have proven how much they love us so we need to give them a good performance."
The FEU Cheering Squad (706) retained the silver medal with a Michael Jackson performance, banking on impressive tumbling and tosses along with the iconic moonwalk.
The Adamson Pep Squad (658.5) earned its second consecutive bronze medal with a Carribean-inspired routine, despite committing a major error in one of the pyramids and getting a 12-point penalty.
The UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe (650), which received a 13-point deduction, settled for fourth place and barely missed out on the podium for the second straight year.
The UE Pep Squad (645) finished in fifth place, followed by the UP Pep Squad (622.5) in sixth place.
The Ateneo Blue Babble Batallion (593) and the DLSU Animo Squad (577.5) landed in seventh and eighth places, respectively.
The eight teams finished in exactly the same order as last season. NU is now two championships away from tying UP and UST's league-best record of eight cheerdance crowns.
In the Group Stunts category, NU, FEU, and Adamson reigned supreme, also replicating last season's results.