Photo by Quin Astilla

The University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Fighting Maroons Women’s Basketball Team ended the first round winless as they fell to their Katipunan rival the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Lady Eagles, 62-76, in the UAAP Season 82 women’s basketball tournament today, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Pesky Pesquera led the squad with 15 points and nine rebounds, while Jona Lebico followed with 10 markers of her own.

The Maroons made sure to keep the game close with three lead changes in the opening quarter of the game. 

In the second quarter, the Diliman squad outscored the Eagles by six points, cutting the lead to a respectable distance of 32-35 at the end of the half.

However, once the third quarter rolled around, the Maroons failed to convert their threes, nailing only 2 out of 13 outside shots in the second half.

This series of bad luck only continued, as rookie sharpshooter Rhea Sanchez had a hard fall on her ankle with 5:50 left in the fourth quarter. 

Following the loss of Sanchez, it was all Ateneo as UP saw the deficit grow by as much as 15 until the final buzzer.

The loss gave UP a winless record to close out the first round of the season, but team captain Pesquera maintains that UP went down swinging.

On the close first half, she said that “I believed from the very beginning that we were going to keep the game close.”

Despite the loss, Pesquera believes the winless first round is only an opportunity for growth.

“Learning process lang siya. We had a lot of games where we could’ve performed better, but the important thing is natututo kami,” said Pesquera. 

The UP Lady Fighting Maroons wait for their next opponent, to be revealed once the first round of both men’s and women’s basketball is over.

QUARTER SCORE:16-25, 32-35, 47-57, 62-76

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