CERES-NEGROS FC got the better of Kaya FC-Iloilo in their first encounter in Season 3 of the Philippines Football League on Wednesday at the Philippine Football Federation National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.

The “Busmen,” the defending league champions, came from behind to snatch the victory, 2-1, over Copa Paulino Alcantara champion Kaya in their battle of PFL titleholders and tournament leaders.

Bienvenido Maranon scored a brace in the victory which saw them overcoming being a goal down on their way to the win.

The two teams had it tight in the opening half, fighting to a nil-nil count at the halftime break.

Jovin Bedic then opened the scoring for Kaya in the 52nd minute after breaking free from the defense and connecting on a left footer to give his team a 1-0 lead.

Ceres scrambled to get the point back, eventually rewarded in the 68th minute when Mr. Maranon nudged the ball into the net off a nifty cross from teammate Stephan Schrock to level things at 1-1.

Three minutes later, the Spaniard scored his second goal off a connection anew with Mr. Schrock to give the Busmen a 2-1 advantage.

The teams went back-and-forth after but the scored remained the same as full time sounded, giving the victory to Ceres.

With the win, Ceres (5-1-0) seized the top spot in the PFL standings from Kaya (5-1-1). Both have 16 points but on the strength of better goal difference and win over the second-placed team, Ceres is currently number one.

“Kaya is the most dangerous team right now and they want to take our place. But we wanted to win this badly and we are happy we did,” said Mr. Schrock after the win.

He, however, expressed concern over the spotty officiating during the match, calling on the PFL to do something about it for the betterment of the league and the games. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo