UP snaps 3-year skid on Pesquera halfcourt buzzer-beater
MANILA, Philippines – Pat Pesquera buried a miraculous three-pointer from halfcourt to finally end University of the Philippines' heartaches with a thrilling 55-52 triumph over University of the East in the UAAP Season 82 women's basketball tournament on Saturday, October 12 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Pesquera’s buzzer-beating shot ended the Lady Maroons’ woeful three-year, 38-game losing streak.
"Sobrang saya (I’m very happy). It's about time," said Pesquera, who also delivered the winner in the Lady Maroons' last win back in Season 79, a 46-44 victory over FEU in November 9, 2016.
The game-winning bucket capped Pesquera's 13-point performance, 7 coming in the payoff period that helped UP fight back from a 13-point first-half deficit.
Pesquera also posted 9 rebounds and 3 assists as UP improved its record to 1-8.
Rei Sanchez added 10 points and 5 boards, while Jona Lebico had 9 points and 7 rebounds in the win.
"The right word is it's a miracle and it's really a miracle that she made it," said coach Paul Ramos, who also won his first game at the helm for the Lady Maroons.
"I think it's still a culture of working together and really working to get better every game, even if it’s so hard to win each game. I'm very happy and very glad that we're finally able to break the curse. Everyone deserves this win."
Pesquera actually put UP ahead, 52-51, with her bucket down low with 2:11 remaining, but both teams struggled to execute in the endgame.
Princess Pedregosa drew a foul on Pesquera with 15.1 seconds left, but could only muster a split to knot the game at 52.
UE had a chance to win the game, but Joyce Terrinal muffed her trey that led to Pesquera converting on her winner.
"If she's not capable of throwing that, we may not be able to take that win. But I said to the team earlier that we won’t be in this situation if we did not work together to be competitive and cut UE’s lead,” said Ramos.
Terrinal led UE with 16 points and 7 rebounds, while Jearzy Ganade had 15 points, 7 assists, 5 boards, and 2 steals.
Princess Pedregosa also saw her double-double effort of 10 points and 18 rebounds go down the drain as the Lady Warriors sunk to a 1-9 record.
UP 55 – Pesquera 13, Sanchez 10, Lebico 9, Larrosa 8, Gonzales 6, Hidalgo 5, Ordoveza 4, De Leon 0, Gusilatar 0, Lucman 0, Rivera 0.
UE 52 – Terrinal 16, Ganade 15, Pedregosa 10, Cortizano 6, Ordas 4, Nama 1, Caraig 0, Cuadero 0, Fernandez 0.
Quarters: 12-19, 25-34, 42-44, 55-52.