Pesky Pesquera buried a shot from half court to end University of the Philippines' years-long heartache with a thrilling 55-52 win over University of the East in UAAP Season 82 women's basketball Saturday.
It was a showstopping finish for the Lady Maroons at Mall of Asia Arena, which also ended a 38-game losing streak.
The winner capped Pesquera's superb performance of 13 points — seven coming in the fourth quarter — to go with nine rebounds and three assists, a game that saw UP fight back from a 13-point first half deficit for its first win of the season in nine starts.
"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 on Nov. 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 UP head 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 its 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 3-point attempt 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.
Princess Pedregosa also saw her double-double effort of 10 points and 18 rebounds 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.
Quarterscores: 12-19, 25-34, 42-44, 55-52.
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