Ceres-Negros FC banked on a blistering first half to down Davao Aguilas FC 5-1 last November 2 at the Panaad Stadium. Fernando Rodriguez topscored with a hat trick while Bienvenido Maranon and designated captain Patrick Reichelt scored a goal apiece.
The home squad didn’t waste time when they opened the scoring in the 1st minute after an Iain Ramsay run allowed the winger to cross to Rodriguez. The Spaniard tamed the delivery before striking to the bottom corner for the opener.
Davao had its own chance minutes later after James Younghusband intercepted a bad pass and try a chip over Roland Muller. The shot however was way over the bar.
A great passing sequence from the busmen saw Stephan Schrock threading a ball in front to Reichelt who blasted in the ball for the 2-0 lead. Maranon was taken down in the box in the 24th but referee did not call the whistle to the dismay of the Negros bench.
The Aguilas had their own in in the 27th when an unmarked Angel Guirado tapped in a free ball to make things interesting for the visitors. Maranon however broke the trap minutes later to root Marko Trkulja in his spot for his first goal.
It was 4-1 after the 33rd when a Maranon strike to the post after a Ramsay cross was rebounded by Rodriguez who picked his spot to earn his brace. Rodriguez would complete his hat-trick in the 39th minute when a one-two with Maranon allowed the striker space for Ceres’ fifth.
The second half saw changes for both squads that saw a few chances in the remaining minutes. The final whistle blew with the home squad securing the 5-1 win.
Ceres-Negros jumped to temporary second with 48 points, one point over Kaya-Makati who has one game left in the regular season.
The busmen are still behind six points from league leaders FC Meralco Manila who they will meet on Sunday in Panaad. Kickoff is set at 7pm with free entrance to the grandstand and bleachers.