THE University of San Carlos’s (USC) wingman Giovanni Padillo’s comeback in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) came at the most opportune time and he led the Warriors, 85-73, over the Don Bosco Technological Center Greywoves yesterday at the Cebu Coliseum.

Padillo, who has been warming the bench since the start of the season because of a hand injury, was finally given the go-signal by the doctors to play. And he underscored his return by scoring 15 points.

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Joven Cortes topped the USC scorers with 17 markers, while Sam Hermosa had 14.

Despite Padillo’s presence, USC is still the most undermanned team in the Cesafi with nine players but this did not stop them from putting up a gallant stand to end the elimination round with a 4-2 record.

Rusty

Eager to nail its second win, DBTC started strong and held USC to a tight first half and even led by as much as eight points.

USC coach Mike Reyes decided to field in Padillo halfway in the first quarter when USC was struggling to fend off DBTC.

However, the weeks of inactivity seemed to have dulled Padillo. He bungled his first attempt and turned the ball over in the next possession.

It took him a little while to warm up and when he did, he teamed up with Robert Codilla and Padillo and Cortes to anchor a searing 17-4 run to finally wrest the lead from DBTC, 56-47.

DBTC failed to recover and dropped to 1-4.

In the juniors division, the University of Cebu defeated Cebu Institute of Technology University, 82-79, while the University of the Visayas defeated DBTC, 91-74.