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Manila back on top of PFL after close win at Ilocos; Negros sweeps Laguna

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By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Meralco Manila once again won a close battle against Ilocos United, 1-0, in their PFL second round meeting at the Quirino Stadium in Bantay, Ilocos Sur on Saturday night.

Phil Younghusband netted the marginal goal through a 54th minute penalty.

However, the man of the hour was new signing Jun Badelic, who kept a clean sheet as Manila's new netminder.

Badelic's shining moment came in the 84th minute when he stopped Josh Reyes from scoring on a one-on-one play.

Manila, which remained unbeaten after eight matches took the top spot back after scoring its sixth win against two draws for 20 points, overtaking Marikina, which will play Davao in a home game at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Sunday.

Laguna 2 Negros 5

In Bacolod, Ceres Negros scored a sweep of its two-game series against Stallion Laguna with a 5-2 blowout.

Three days after winning in an official home game, Negros once again stomped its dominance over Laguna in a match that, despite being played at the Panaad Stadium again, was credited as a home game for the latter as the plan to hold the game in Iloilo was canceled.

Stephan Schrock struck first for Negros in the 12th minute, while Jeffrey Christaens, Iain Ramsay, and OJ Porteria each got their respective goals in three-minute intervals from the 27th to the 33rd minutes.

Bienve Marañon capped Negros' scoring with a 54th minute penalty conversion.

Balut Doctora (76th minute) and Terrence Linatoc (81st minute) scored the consolation goals for Laguna, which remained winless after eight games with only three points, all on draws, to show.

Negros, on the other hand, moved to third place with 13 points, going ahead of Cebu on goal difference.

Cebu, however, will play Makati at the University of Makati Athletic Field on Sunday with a chance to go back to third.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno
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