Banking on striker Takumi Uesato, Ceres Negros FC decimated JPV Marikina FC, 3-0, to jump atop the standings of the Philippines Football League (PFL) 2018 on Saturday night at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.
Uesato struck a first half brace against his former club while Bienvenido Marañon scored the last goal as the defending champion leaped to No. 1 with six points on two wins in as many games.
“Everyone is very happy on how we played tonight. We scored three goals and dominated the possession even if we only had one day preparation,” said Ceres Negros assistant coach Ian Treyes.
The Yellow Busmen came off a 4-0 romp over Boeung Ket FC of Cambodia in the Asian Football Confederation Cup just three days ago.
“The way the boys played tonight, we could not ask for more,” added Treyes.
Erstwhile leader JPV Marikina suffered its second straight defeat. The Voltes fell to No. 2 with six points on two early wins.
Uesato sparked the scoring spree just 14 minutes into the game as the prolific forward beat the JPV backline then fired past goalkeeper Nelson Gasic.
The Japanese striker doubled the cushion in the 31st when he buried a left-footed shot.
Marañon closed out the rout halfway the second half with a clinical strike on Kevin Ingreso’s layoff assist.
Over at the Biñan Football Stadium earlier, Stallion Laguna FC rode on a fiery second half as it smothered Kaya FC-Iloilo, 3-1.
The Stallions raced to their second victory behind the goals of Carlo Polli, Jhan Melliza and Fitch Arboleda in the final 45 minutes.
Stallion Laguna, however, remained with three points as the league stripped them off maximum markers “for failure to respect a decision within a stipulated period.”
Kaya Iloilo, which got the opening goal from Miguel Tanton, dropped to No. 5 with three points and an inferior goal difference to Stallion.