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Pesquera's halfcourt buzzer-beater ends Lady Maroons' 38-game losing skid

Pat Pesquera of the UP Lady Maroons exults after sinking a halfcourt buzzer-beater that gave UP a three-point win over the UE Lady Warriors in the UAAP Season 82 women's basketball tournament. UAAP

Pat Pesquera's prayers were answered as she buried the miraculous three-pointer from halfcourt to finally end University of the Philippines' heartaches with a thrilling 55-52 triumph over University of the East Saturday in the UAAP Season 82 Women's Basketball Tournament at SM Mall of Asia Arena.

What a way it was for the Lady Maroons to end their gloomy three-year-long 38-game losing streak with the graduating winger swishing her Hail Mary at the buzzer to finally taste their first victory of the season.

The winner capped off Pesquera's superb performance with her 13 points, seven coming in the payoff period, to go with nine rebounds and three assists where UP fought back from a 13-point first half deficit and rise to 1-8 in the standings.

"Sobrang saya. 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.

Rei Sanchez added 10 points and five boards, while Jona Lebico had nine points and seven 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 kanina na di kami mapupunta sa sitwasyon na yun if we did not work together to be competitive at makadikit kami sa UE," said Ramos.

Terrinal led UE with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Jearzy Ganade had 15 points, seven assists, five boards, and two steals.

Pedregosa also saw her double-double effort of 10 points and 18 rebounds down the drain as the Lady Warriors dropped to a 1-9 record.

THE SCORES

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.

Quarterscores: 12-19, 25-34, 42-44, 55-52.