Ceres Negros FC tries to compensate for the absence of its key players when it squares off with tormentor JPV Marikina FC in the Philippines Football League (PFL) today at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City.
Aiming to avenge their first loss, the Yellow Busmen tangle with the Voltes at 7 p.m.
JPV Marikina pulled off a 2-1 victory over Ceres Negros behind Takumi Uesato and Jay Baguioro in their first encounter last June 17 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
The Visayan powerhouse club, however, must exact revenge sans head coach Risto Vidakovic, players Jeffrey Christiaens, Stephan Shrock and Bienvenido Marañon.
The Serbian tactician was suspended after getting sent off early in the second half of their 3-2 win over Kaya FC-Makati last Saturday. Vidakovic lashed out on the referees following a controversial non-call that led to Kaya Makati’s second goal.
Christiaens was also ejected last game for a second bookable offense while Shrock and Marañon will be sitting out due to accumulated yellow cards.
Besides exacting retribution, Ceres also looks to sneak past Kaya on the No. 2 spot. The Negrenses currently hold 38 points on a 12-2-3 win-draw-loss record and a win would put them ahead of the Makati booters via a superior goal difference.
But JPV Marikina is eager to arrest a three-game losing skid as it seeks to keep its playoff chances alive.
The Marikeños are sitting on No. 6 with 27 points on an 8-3-10 card, just one point behind No. 5 Stallion Laguna FC but 10 markers adrift of No. 4 Global Cebu FC.
JPV came up short against Global Cebu in its previous game, absorbing a narrow 1-2 defeat three days back at the Cebu City Sports Center.
Meanwhile, bottom teams Ilocos United FC and Davao Aguilas FC clash anew at 4 p.m. at the President Elpidio Quirino Stadium in Bantay, Ilocos Sur.
Ilocos United and Davao Aguilas faced each other last Sunday, with the latter scoring its breakthrough win on a 2-0 scoreline at the Davao Del Norte Sports Complex in Tagum City.