Ceres-Negros pips Davao Aguilas, closes in on crown

Ceres-Negros pips Davao Aguilas, closes in on crown

The Busmen stretched their margin against their closest pursuer Kaya Iloilo (33) to 15 markers, needing only six points in their last five games to finish off their challengers. BusinessWorld/File

MANILA, Philippines — Ten-man Ceres Negros FC moved two wins away from the Philippines Football League crown after nipping Davao Aguilas, 3-1, Saturday at Davao del Norte Sports Complex in Tagum.


Jeff Christiaens, Amani Aguinaldo and Bienvenido Maranon took the cudgels in scoring as the Busmen offset the dismissal of Mike Ott in the 37th minute to secure maximum points and a virtually unassailable 48 points overall.


The Busmen stretched their margin against their closest pursuer Kaya Iloilo (33) to 15 markers, needing only six points in their last five games to finish off their challengers.


In the other game, Stallion Laguna defeated JPV Marikina over at Binan Stadium, 3-2, to improve to 21 points, just three off third running Davao (24).


Christiaens drew first blood in the sixth minute as his long ball was misread by keeper Ronilo Bayan and bounced toward the goal.


Despite losing the young Ott to red card, the visiting team dominated play and put it into the next twice more via Aguinaldo’s glancing header (60’) and Maranon’s 70th minute spot-kick. Kim Sungmin hit a consolation goal for Davao, which lost to Negros for the fourth time this season.