Showing its fiery form late, three-time champion Ceres Negros FC completed an unbeaten run after subduing rival Kaya FC-Iloilo, 3-0, in the 2019 Philippines Football League (PFL) on Saturday night at the Aboitiz Pitch in Lipa, Batangas.
OJ Porteria, Bienvenido Marañon and James Younghusband fired a goal apiece in the closing minutes as the Yellow Busmen cruised unscathed in 22 games this third season.
Ceres Negros formally achieved a three-peat last October 12 when it came through with a come-from-behind 3-1 victory over Green Archers United FC.
With its third title, Ceres nabbed a spot anew in the preliminary round of the Asian Football Confederation Champions League.
The Bacolod-based club finished the season with 68 points built on an impressive record of 22 wins and two draws, including a four-match sweep of cup champion Kaya Iloilo.
The Busmen also set a league-record 16 straight triumphs while on their way to another dominant campaign in the domestic top flight.
After a scoreless deadlock in the first half, Ceres came out aggressive as captain Stephan Shrock delivered cross to fellow Philippine Azkals standout Porteria, who headed home the first goal in the 73rd minute.
Shrock made another assist, providing a fine layoff for Marañon to easily slot the ball past the goalkeeper in the 90th.
Younghusband scored on a solo effort three minutes into the injury time to wrap up the victory.
Kaya ended up as runner-up in the eight-club league for the second straight year.
The Lions will have a shot at redemption when they try to defend their title in the Copa Paulino Alcantara that will kick off on October 26.