Ceres-Negros FC continued to occupy the top spot of the table as they record a series of impressive wins in the Philippine Football League 2019 season.
The Busmen defeated Philippine Air Force 7-0 with Robert Lopez Mendy recorded a hat-trick in recording goals during the 39th, 72nd and 75th minute.
Bienvenido Maranon added in the 32nd minute, OJ Porteria during the 35th minute, Mike Ott at the 85th minute and Dennis Villanueva, two minutes later.
“It’s not easy to play after the long break,” said Ceres-Negros head coach Risto Vidakovic via Inquirer.net as most Busmen players were involved in the Philippine Azkals first two games during the joint 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers recently.
“It’s normal that we start slow, but later it became a very easy game after the fifth goal. It’s always difficult to switch on the competitive level but we always tried to play the way we did.”
Ceres-Negros followed it up with a 2-0 shoutout against arch-rival Kaya Iloilo to record 46 points, enough to hold the first place position in the table.
Ott put Ceres-Negros onboard in the 15th minute while Porteria scored another one in the 30th minute.
“[It’s] Still too early to talk about the title. We’re going game by game so it’s a big win for us. We beat our direct opponent for the title and it’s very, very important but we need to continue. We have seven games more. We have to win four games to be sure that we are champions again,” Vidakovic quoted in an article of BusinessWorld as the Busmen need to win their last four games to capture their third straight title.
“I want to congratulate my players. They played really good today and they gave everything. We controlled the game from the first minute until the end,”Vidakovic added, crediting his players on their good showing against second-running Kaya Iloilo.
“I think my players really tried their best,” Kaya Iloilo head Noel Marcaida, quoted in the same article as his team is still stuck at second place with 37 points.
“This game really showed Ceres’ strength in their clinical finishing. I only recall maybe three chances for them in the whole game, and they converted two. You can really see the disappointment in the players. All we can do now is focus on finishing strong in the league, starting with the two games we have in Iloilo coming up,” Marcaida observed.
Stallion Laguna remained at third place with 30 points with their latest assignment against Mendiola FC 1991 ended in a goalless draw.
Green Archers United still occupied the fourth spot with 25 points. Mendiola FC 1991 recorded 13 points to grab the fifth spot in the table as they recorded two draws in their previous assignments with a goalless draw against Stallion Laguna and 1-1 draw against Global Cebu.
Philippine Air Force tallied 11 points to occupy the sixth spot as they recorded a 4-1 victory against Global Cebu with Joel Bedia scored in the 67th and 88th minute for a brace while Jalsor Soriano and Vince Braga found the back of the net during the 42nd and 64th minute respectively.
Global-Cebu FC still remained at the bottom of the standings with six points after earning a draw against Mendiola FC 1991 with Paolo Salenga’s penalty kick found the back of the net during the 37th minute but Mendiola responds back with Ninong Balabat’s goal in the 85th minute to earn a point each.