Busmen ground Aguilas; Stallion, Global escape
Defender Jeffrey Christiaens scored a goal and assisted on another as AFC Cup Asean zone champion Ceres-Negros kept the retooled Davao Aguilas winless with a 3-1 victory on Saturday in the Philippines Football League at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Returning to PFL action just four days after their elimination in the interzone semifinals of the AFC Cup, the Busmen played with verve and urgency as they collected their ninth win of the season to hike their tally to 28 points for fourth spot.
Over at Biñan Football Stadium, Stallion Laguna striker Jess Melliza continued his scoring run as he fired the only goal that lifted Laguna past JPV Marikina.
The fleet-footed lefty from La Paz, Iloilo, beat JPV goalkeeper Nelson Gasic from a tight angle in the 77th minute to push Stallion closer to JPV with 26 points.
Christiaens found Fernando Rodriguez at the far post for a close-range strike in 19th minute, before punctuating the win with a clinical goal off the counterattack three minutes from time.
Spanish midfielder Bienvenido Marañon was also on the scoresheet, firing home from just inside the box in the 50th minute.
Davao got a late consolation goal from Harry Sawyer in the first minute of second half stoppage time as the Aguilas lost for the ninth time this season.
Despite acquiring veterans Phil and James Younghusband, Simone Rota, Matthew Hartmann and Jason De Jong during the transfer window, victory has remained elusive for the Aguilas, who only have six points from 15 matches.
The Busmen have played six games less than Meralco Manila, which was held to a goalless draw by Global Cebu also on Saturday.