Ceres Negros XI completes unbeaten run to cap three-peat
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - October 21, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Reaffirming its status as the top club in the country, Ceres Negros FC laced its three-peat feat in the Philippine Football League with a historic unbeaten title drive Saturday night in Binan, Laguna.

The Busmen, who had put a lock on their third consecutive league diadem as early as last week, put the exclamation point to their latest triumph with a 3-0 shutout of Kaya FC Iloilo, leaning on a searing offensive spree in the last 15 minutes to seal the deal.

OJ Porteria (74’), Spaniard ace Bienve Maranon (90’) and veteran James Younghusband (90+3’) starred in the fiery windup as the Bacolod-based squad wrapped up its 24-match assignment without a single loss, winning 22 and drawing two.

Ceres piled up 68 points in this undefeated conquest, beating Kaya (56) by 12 markers for the coveted diadem and the right to represent the Philippines in the AFC Champions League preliminaries next year.

Stalwarts of Ceres took home the top individual plums with keeper Roland Muller winning the season’s Golden Glove and midfielder Stephan Schrock earning the Golden Ball. Maranon, who scored 30 goals, finished runner-up to Kaya’s Jordan Mintah (31) in the race for the Golden Boot honor.

Locked in a scoreless stalemate through 73 minutes, the Busmen found a way to punch through when Schrock’s creative wing play led to a cross to Porteria, who ably headed it home.

Schrock’s efficient plays later allowed Maranon to double the lead for Ceres near regulation time after which sub Younghusband pounced on his injury time chance, eluding the onrushing keeper to finish it from a tight angle and make it a three-goal success.

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