THEY may not have been visible much on the podium in recent years, but the University of Sto. Tomas and the University of the Philippines are unparalleled when it comes to having the most number of championships in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Cheerdance Competition.
The UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe and the UP Pep Squad each have eight first-place finishes under their belt.
It is a still unmatched feat, although the National University Pep Squad is fast gaining ground with its six championship titles in recent years.
UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe
Not only does the UST Salinggawi have eight championships, it also has the record of having an unmatched five-peat streak from 2002 to 2006.
The team from España Boulevard was the first champion of the UAAP Cheerdance Competition in 1994, and won the gold in the next two years.
Its winning streak was interrupted from 1998 to 2001, when the Far Eastern University and the University of the Philippines ascended to the top of the podium.
But the Salinggawi returned with a bang, and went on to win the title for five straight years, from 2002 to 2006, wowing spectators with its flawless routines and smooth and clean stunts and tosses.
Since then, however, the UST Salinggawi has yet to return to the top. Its last podium finish was in 2017, when it landed in second place.
UP Pep Squad
The UP Pep Squad has given UST a run for its money when it comes to cheerdancing.
It had a three-year run as champions from 1999 to 2001, which was followed by podium finishes in second and third in the succeeding years.
It returned to the top in 2007 and 2008, breaking UST’s winning streak. It also bagged the championship for three succeeding years from, 2010 to 2012.
The squad from UP was a crowd pleaser with its creative themes, shocking hairstyles, and innovative moves.
The last time it placed among the top was in 2015, when it landed third.
It did not participate in the 2016 competition in protest of the 2015 results, which it alleged was tainted by prejudice from judges.
The UP Pep Squad rejoined the contest in 2017, but has yet to make a podium finish.
These two seasoned champions are returning to the UAAP Cheerdance Competition today, each hoping to make their mark and ascend to the top.
Who will break the record of having the most number of wins?
Photo credit: UAAP Facebook