By Jerome S. Galunan, Jr.
After securing back-to-back Philippines Football League (PFL) titles, following their 6-1 trouncing of Global Cebu FC last month, Ceres-Negros FC formally lifted the trophy after beating Stallion Laguna FC, 4-1, in their league closer at the Panaad Park and Stadium over the weekend.
Ceres midfielder Bienvenido Marañón, who was named ‘Man of the Match,’ opened scoring in the 32nd minute with a screamer that flew out of the reach of the Stallion keeper.
The lead doubled shortly in the second half after striker Blake Powell offered a pass across the face of goal, which defender Martin Steuble managed to tap in, putting the Negrense side up, 2-0.
In the 50th minute, Stallion defender Nathan Alquiros pulled one back for the visitors, bringing the Laguna-based side back to a one goal deficit, down 2-1.
After serving up an assist earlier in the match, Powell put Ceres up 3-1 in the 67th minute.
Marañón, then, earned a brace just before the end of the second half, successfully converting a pass from midfielder Mike Ott.
“This is a sweet victory, but it’s been very hard,” said Ceres FC assistant coach Ian Treyes during the post-match press conference. “We [had] lots of suspensions [and] injuries, but we are happy to get this back-to-back championship for our city and our province.”
He said the club is currently looking forward to the upcoming Copa Paulino Alcantara, which kicks off on September 1.
“We will work on this to win the title,” Treyes said./JSG, WDJ