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NU Pep Squad Vies to Defend UAAP Cheerdance Championship with New Coach at the Helm

MANILA, Philippines — National University PEP Squad ushers in a new era under coach Gab Bajacan as it seeks to retain its crown in the UAAP Season 86 Cheerdance Competition with a theme inspired by the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Bajacan may be new but he vows to continue the NU Pep Squad’s winning ways that began under former mentor Ghicka Bernabe, who retired after steering NU to another title in Season 85.

“Our preparation this season is very challenging for us because we no longer have our senior coaches. We are happy to collaborate with my choreographer friends to help us maintain the identity of the NU Pep Squad. And we will always bring a very death-defying routine and challenging routine for every season that we will do,” said Bajacan in Filipino.

“For our theme, we really want to pay tribute to the true king and icon, Elvis Presley. We know for a fact that he’s inspired a lot of musicians. We thought of a theme that would be relatable to those who will hear his music that’s why we chose him,” he added.

Runner-up Far Eastern University Cheering Squad parades a theme of the classic video game Super Mario Bros, as it tries to reclaim the crown. Third-placer University of Santo Tomas Salinggawi Dance Troupe will flaunt a performance inspired by K-Pop group Blackpink.

Adamson Cheering Squad will perform the songs from the animated film, Trolls, University of the East PEP Squad and University of the Philippines PEP Squad hope to bring nostalgia on the competition day with their themes of 90s Anime and Alapaap by Eraserheads, respectively.

De La Salle Animo Squad and Ateneo Blue Eagles, who are cellar dwellers of the past seasons, seek to rise from the ashes with La Salle teasing a ‘high energy’ performance and Ateneo performing a Super Bowl-inspired routine.

UE will kick off the competition at 2 p.m. followed by defending champion NU,  Ateneo, Adamson, UP, La Salle, FEU, and UST.

“We are thrilled to host the UAAP Season 86 Cheerdance Competition at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. This event is not only a showcase of the incredible talent and athleticism of our student-athletes but also a platform for schools to come together and celebrate the spirit of friendly competition,” said UAAP Season 86 Executive Director Atty. Rene Saguisag Jr.

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