National University pressed on with a depleted lineup to shoot down Ateneo de Manila University, 3-0, and remain on top of the standings of the Ang Liga Season 15 on Saturday at the Blue Pitch in Circuit, Makati City.
Despite being undermanned early in the match, the Bulldogs dominated with offense in the opposite halves as they tightened up their grip of the pole position with their second win in as many games.
National U was reduced to 10 men just 10 minutes into the game after Marvin Ace Viray received a red card for a dangerous challenge on Ateneo’s Ged Poe.
But the determined Bulldogs sustained their offensive pace until Sean Julius Epili struck the opening goal in the 40th minute.
Jasper Owen Padernal doubled the lead three minutes later with an easy tap-in of a sneaky through ball into the penalty box.
Ross Lee Lawagan punctuated the romp as he scored six minutes before time.
The Blue Booters suffered their first loss in this year’s edition of the preseason tournament, dropping them to sixth place with three points.
Earlier, University of the Philippines waxed hot in the first half as it decimated Emilio Aguinaldo College, 12-0, to book its breakthrough victory.
The Maroon Booters fired 10 goals in the first 45 minutes as they earned their first maximum points and ascended to the second spot with a higher goal difference over four other teams with one win apiece.
The last season’s semifinalist also bounced back from a shocking 0-3 defeat to Lyceum of the Philippines University in its opening game last week.
Arvin Resuma notched a rare four-goal feat, with the last one – a long shot from the left flank – shortly before the first half whistle.
Kintaro Miyagi and Fidel Tacardon each struck a brace while Daniel Saavedra and Miguel Clariño netted one goal apiece to complete the scoring spree in the opening half.
The men of coach Andres Gonzales played sluggishly in the second half until substitute Joaquin Mathay pulled one back in the 78th minute and Anton Guariña found the mark two minutes later.
With the huge loss, the Generals remained winless in two games as they dropped to the bottom of the standings.