MANILA, Philippines – With one gutsy shot, University of the Philippines (UP) veteran Pat Pesquera ended three years of heartbreak for the Lady Maroons.
The UP women's basketball team has lost 38 straight games, enduring winless seasons in Season 80 and 81.
The basketball gods finally smiled upon them on Saturday, however, as the Lady Maroons got a break – thanks in large part to Pesquera.
Pesquera buried the game-winning three-pointer from halfcourt to give UP a stunning 55-52 triumph over University of the East, ending three years' worth of struggles.
That was not only their first win in the UAAP Season 82 women's basketball tournament, but also their first victory since 2016.
"I wanted it in my hands. Alam ko na kaya ko naman ibato 'yun and I just hoped for the best," said the graduating winger after her memorable 13-point, 9-rebound, and 3-assist performance to lead the girls from Diliman.
For her efforts, Pesquera has been hailed as the Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps UAAP Player of the Week.
She not just ended the Lady Maroons' losing streak: Pesquera also overshadowed her male peers in Ange Kouame of Ateneo de Manila University, Zach Huang of University of Santo Tomas, and fellow UP players Bright Akhuetie and Jun Manzo for the weekly citation determined by print and online media covering the league.
Coincidentally, it was also Pesquera who nailed the game-winner in UP's last win – a 46-44 triumph over Far Eastern University in Season 79.
It may just be one win, but the 23-year-old hoped this will change the tide for the UP women's basketball program moving forward.
"It's been so long. Naiintindihan ko naman kung bakit kami natatalo and ngayon, sa program ni coach Paul (Ramos), we're trying to start 'yung winning culture dito sa UP," she said.
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