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Flashy FEU — Super Mario-themed routine dominates competition

Photograph by JOey Sanchez Mendoza for the daily tribune @tribunephl_joey The Far Eastern University Cheering Squad celebrates its conquest of the UAAP Season 86 Cheerdancing competitions Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

It was game over the moment the Far Eastern University Cheering Squad stepped on the mat carrying colorful props, including cardboard go-karts and costumes, to put life into its Super Mario-themed routine.

FEU then powered up its performance to reign supreme in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 86 Cheerdance Competition yesterday in front of an 18,122-strong crowd inside the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Morayta-based cheerdancers completed their redemption campaign after reclaiming the crown they lost last season.

FEU earned 702.5 points to best the rest of the field for their fourth title overall.

Season 85 champion National University Pep Squad, which had an Elvis Presley-inspired routine, got 697 points for a runner-up finish.

The University of Santo Tomas Salinggawi Dance Troupe, which ran an upbeat K-pop girl group Blackpink-inspired performance, landed third with 684 points.

Save for some minor missteps in their stunts and arabesques early in its routine, FEU wowed the judges with their degree of difficulty in forming their pyramids and graceful dance routines that complemented their entertaining computer game-based theme and music.

“Honestly, (winning the championship) was not really our goal. Our goal was just to complete our routine and to give justice to Super Mario because last year we failed to give justice to Francis M. (Magalona) in our performance last year so this year our mindset was to just do our best and see what happens,” FEU coach Randell San Gregorio said.

“We’re super blessed we won it again, our fourth. Technically, this is a double celebration because FEU now holds the most podium finishes in cheerdance history with 21. So, we got two records for FEU. We’re just grateful,” he added.

FEU pocketed P100,000 cash prize for winning the championship but also swept all five special awards worth P30,000 each.

The FEU Cheering Squad bagged the Stylish Performance Team Award, Most Unique Dance Move, Best Toss, Juicy-fied Pyramid and Silka Best Dance Move.

NU got P60,000 cash prize while UST had P40,000.

Adamson University Pep Squad placed fourth with 665 points followed by University of the Philippines Pep Squad (602), University of the East Pep Squad (559), De La Salle University Animo Squad (555.5) while the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles finished last with 532 points.

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