Ceres Negros wins one for beleaguered owner
CARMONA—It was a victory that just meant so much more for reigning Philippines Football League champion Ceres Negros.
Two quickfire goals from Spanish striker Bienvenido Marañon propelled the Busmen to a come-from-behind 2-1 triumph over fierce rival Kaya Iloilo last Wednesday in a battle between PFL leaders at PFF Training Center here.
And right away, the team made it known it was after more than just the three points it pinned on its total, which allowed the Busmen to leapfrog past Kaya for the lead on goal difference.
Ceres star Stephan Schrock said the result took extra significance because of the circumstances surrounding club owner Leo Rey Yanson, who was forced out of control of the family business.
“We all know that our owner and friend is having a hard time at the moment and I hope that we give him a 15-second smile on his face because he deserves it,” said Schrock. Yanson was ousted by his four older siblings as president of the country’s biggest bus company in a boardroom coup over the weekend.
“He’s been there for us not only as an owner or manager or benefactor. He was, for the longest time for us, a friend almost like a dad to everyone as the club. We owe him.”
Yanson built the club from scratch in 2012, pouring his personal resources to transform Ceres from a provincial powerhouse into a continental force, winning the AFC Cup Asean zone two years ago.
READ: Ceres rises to the top
The club’s future remains uncertain with Yanson embroiled in the battle for control over the company, but Schrock said the team is trying its best to remain focused on their goals this season.
“The uncertainty is a problem but we live in the present so today we had to win this game to give our owner a little smile and a little happiness back,” said Schrock.
“Saturday we will get the next three points (against Air Force) and so on. We go from day to day now.”
Kaya skipper Jovin Bedic opened the scoring with a spectacular 25-yard strike past Roland Muller in the 52nd minute, but Marañon equalized in the 68th minute off a cross from Schrock. The winner came three minutes later as Marañon redirected Schrock’s cross at the back post past Mike Casas.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.