MANILA, Philippines – National University PEP team coach Ghicka Bernabe stressed she’s not questioning their third place finish ending their two-season reign, but she can’t stop wondering about the change in the rating system of the UAAP Cheering Competition 2022.
Long considered the standard of mid-season greats, after winning six of the previous seven seasons with fast-paced stunts, Team NU PEP was unable to complete its “three peat” and won bronze on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
But for the multi-talented coach, her team did well.
“I think my team did a great job. If there was wobble in our stunts segment, I don’t think it would affect the process at all. I’m just being honest. Having worked in this industry for so many years, I don’t want to question the results but I believe my team has done well,” lamented Bernabe.
Team NU PEP scored 681 points with six penalty points and demerit points. FEU cheering team 1st place in every scoring division with a total score of 727.5. No penalty points and no deductions in its clean process, while Adamson PEP Squad also received no points as runner-up with 688.5 points.
Bernabe admits she couldn’t understand the judging in this unique cheerleading competition, which was limited to 15 performers and a three-minute performance without the presence of drummers.
“I think recently, there has been a change in the (ratings) system or their basis. Now I’m analyzing what I should do – do I still have to ask them to do death defying stunts and pyramids? Or we’ll just somehow [do something] that’s safe,” says Bernabe. “Honestly, I’m confused. All the coaches were confused, even my kids (the cheerleader). Should I push them more? ”
“Kulang na lang paliparin ko, ibato ko na lang sila mag-isa or should I say okay na? (I almost threw them up myself.) I can’t explain. I’m still weighing the standards,” she added.
Bernabe stuck to the fast-paced, high-reward routine because it has worked wonders over the past two seasons and helped them dominate in the 2010s.
“We want to collect, we want to collect, we want to earn points, even if it falters, the points are still there. If that’s the basis next time, then we’ll just change the formula,” she said.
“For me, that’s close to the perfect performance. If there was a wobble, as far as I remember, it wasn’t a fall in our Dangerous Game II. Maybe it was just two points, there was a connection in our landing. But I still have high hopes,” she added.
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The NU coach congratulated the winners, especially her alma mater FEU and her close friend, coach Adamson Jam Lorenzo. But she admits that she doesn’t watch their performance because they don’t focus on other performances.
Bernabe also revealed that they changed a player she did not name, after he or she ruled ineligible due to lack of documentation.
“Unfortunately, three days before the competition, we changed a player for lack of a document (he or she). We made a lot of adjustments, especially in a pyramid,” she said. “We did not expect that players would not qualify. So there was a sudden change and it was a real challenge. ”
Despite the end of their reign, Bernabe is still proud of her pep team for meeting the expectations of their supporters.
“NU Pep Squad has lived up to the expectations of our supporters, especially given the level of difficulty with a breathtaking performance. They did really great, great,” she said. “Unfortunately we didn’t win the title, maybe I’m still in shock. I still can’t handle it at the moment but I’ve told my team you’ve done a great job and as your coach I’m still your number one fan. They are not afraid.”
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