By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
Senior Reporter

CERES-Negros FC further underscored its standing as the gold standard in local club football by adding the Copa Paulino Alcantara title to its every growing trophy case.

Won its third straight Philippines Football League title in October, Ceres completed a season double by winning the Cup with a 2-1 victory over erstwhile defending champion Kaya FC-Iloilo in the finals on Saturday at the Biñan Football Stadium in Laguna.

Robert Lopez Mendy and Tristan Robles provided the goals early for the “Busmen” and Kaya just could not recover from them.

Mr. Mendy struck in the 30th minute of the contest, turning a cross from James Younghusband to a goal for a 1-0 lead for Ceres, which took the cushion at the break.

In the second half, Ceres beat Kaya anew for the first goal as Mr. Robles converted in the 68th minute for a 2-0 lead.

Kaya tried to make up for lost ground the rest of the way, coming to within a point, 2-1, after Kenshiro Daniels found the bottom of the net in the 85th minute.

That was the closest it would get though as Ceres held on and brought home the win for the remainder of the time.

“To win the double is just fantastic. We were some players down because of the international break but we’re just happy that we won. I’m just proud of the team,” said Mr. Younghusband, who was at the losing end of the Copa finals last year as a member of Davao Aguilas FC.

Ceres played sans some key personnel, namely, Carli De Murga, Sean Patrick Kane, Mike Ott, Stephan Schrock and OJ Porteria, who are with the Philippine Azkals competing in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

Despite the loss, Kaya still kept its spot in the AFC Cup as the PFL’s second-placed team.