JUNIOR guard Kayla Padilla was quick to make her presence felt as the University of Pennsylvania marked its return to action in its season opener in the US Women's NCAA on Monday morning, Philippine time.
The Filipino-American standout tallied 22 points on 8-of-11 from the field, five rebounds, four assists, three blocks, and a steal to lead Penn in its landslide victory against Hartford, 85-42, in an away opening game.
It's Penn's first time to play in almost two years, after last year's canceled season because of the pandemic.
UPenn's Captain Kayla Padilla among the prospects eyed for Gilas Women's
Five-foot-9 Padilla jumpstarted a long ball that allowed Penn to sustain an easy 16-0 in the first quarter.
Already on her junior, the California native is one of the four captains of the Quakers.
"She has earned their respect both on and off the floor through her tremendous work ethic. Kayla is a natural leader and someone who people are drawn to. I cannot wait to watch her excel in this new role," said head coach Mike McLaughlin of Padilla, in a previous report published by Penn Athletics.
In her debut season, she was named the 2020 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, and was part of the 2020 first-team All-Ivy.
She is one of the Fil-Am prospects eyed by Gilas Pilipinas Women head coach Patrick Aquino.
Penn will next see action on November 17, taking on Kings' College (PA).