Entering the 2017 UAAP Cheerdance Competition more of dark horses than contenders, the Adamson University Pep Squad proved that with love for their craft — combined with hard work and discipline — can win it all for anyone in the tough competition.
True enough, a year after they made a surprise podium finish, the San Marcelino crew more than proved that last year was no fluke and that a new era has began in one of the most anticipated events of the UAAP calendar.
Going up against the perennial big names in cheerdance like NU, UP, and UST, Adamson has always been an afterthought. But with their title-clinching performance on Saturday, the once-frustrated squad was able to change the landscape of the competition.
“Talagang minold namin ‘yung mga bata sa disiplina, sa pagpuno ng pagmamahal sa bawat isa, at sa pagpapakita sa mga bata kung ano ang kaya nilang gawin at kaya nilang ibigay sa crowd,” Adamson Pep Squad coach Jam Lorenzo told Akari Sports at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Armed with an 80’s OPM-infused routine, Adamson wowed the crowd with their clean execution and electrifying energy throughout their performance. They topped the Stunts and Pyramid categories, placed second in Dance, third in Tosses, and fourth in Tumbling to solidify their claim on their first-ever Cheerdance title. They also had the least penalty and deduction of all the teams in the contest.
Asked on what has been the story behind their theme, Lorenzo shared that he just loved OPM and wanted to share some of the most iconic Original Pilipino Music to the UAAP crowd.
“Gusto ko gumamit ng OPM for this year sa cheerdance kasi madalang gamitin ang OPM. Kung gagamit ka na lang ng OPM, why not ‘yung pinaka-iconic na? And VST is one of the most iconic OPM bands in the Philippines.”
Their return to the podium in Season 80, however, was far from being a walk in the park for Adamson. They have lost much of their third place-winning team from last year to graduation and they had to rely on newcomers on the team.
“Dinbole namin ‘yung training namin from last year, hinigitan namin ‘yung level of skills from last year. Maraming nawala last year na grumaduate, pero sinecure namin ‘yung mga bago, ‘yung Team B, ‘yung mga bagong recruit namin from zero talagang hinabol namin ‘yung skills,” Lorenzo said.
While admitting that it is still premature to call their win a start of a dynasty, Lorenzo believes that his wards have more in them.
“Alam namin na hindi lang ito ang kaya naming gawin. We know we can do better but it takes time. Next year, we’ll make you proud. Siyempre para sa Adamson community ito,” shared Lorenzo.
They may have won the coveted gold medal in the competition, but for the long-time coach, just completing their routine successfully and winning the hearts of the UAAP fans in the process feels like more than winning a gold.
“Feels like more than gold. Sobrang nag-ooverflow ang love ng team, ‘yun pa lang, feels like gold for us talaga. Mabuo lang namin ang routine, gold na sa amin ‘yun and just to win the hearts of the UAAP.”