The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Lady Maroons were luckless as they went against the title contender Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws, 67-73, in the UAAP Season 82 women’s basketball tournament today, September 25, at QPAV UST.

The new confidence gained by the Lady Maroons after their recent close-game loss to University of the East (UE) was no-show in the first quarter as they went scoreless for the whole 12 minutes, 0-21.

Team Captain Pesky Pesquera, who led all scorers with 21 big points and nine rebounds, said the mixed starting line up was not an excuse for their lackluster first quarter performance.

“Medyo nag mix-up kami sa starters, pero hindi ‘yon excuse. Wala lang talaga kami nung first quarter. We weren’t there tapos nagrun sila [FEU] sila eh,” she said.

To rally State U out of the blank scoreboard, Pesquera and sophomore Stiff Larrosa fired the Lady Maroons as they drop six points apiece while Rei Sanchez, Erica Gusilatar, Cindi Gonzales and Jona Lebico combined for 14 points to end the second canto, 25-39.

Pesquera and Larrosa, who tallied 17 points, also shared how complacent FEU sparked UP’s offense to redeem their confidence.

“Syempre kailangan namin bumawi. Hindi kami basta magpapatalo lang. Sobrang complacent lang nila kaya nainis kami kaya lumaban kami kasi ayaw namin mabastos kami,” Pesquera shared.

However, poor ball handling also haunted the Diliman-based squad as they recorded 17 turnovers at the end of the first half.

“We didn’t make stops [in the first half], tapos naka-17 turnovers pa kami so malaking factor talaga ‘yon,” Pesquera shared.

Come third frame, the Lady Maroons outscored the Lady Tamaraws as they dropped 22 points against FEU’s 18, but still trailed by 10 points, 47-57.

The fourth quarter saw UP trim the deficit to only three as Maroons’ hot shooting powered a 12-5 run, 59-62. However, the Lady Tamaraws answered back to close the game with a six-point advantage, 67-73.

Despite running out of fuel to sustain their momentum, the close late-quarter duel between the Diliman and Morayta squad was still a great fight for the Lady Maroons, Pesquera said.

“Contender sila sa championship eh kaya hindi biro ang FEU. Shooter talaga sila, hustle player talaga. It’s not easy pero lumaban naman kami kaya ‘yon ang mahalaga,” she shared.

The UP Fighting Lady Maroons will face Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) to end the first round robin on September 29 at SMART Araneta Coliseum.

QUARTER SCORES: 0-21, 25-39, 47-57, 67-73

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