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Davao stuns Negros anew to open Copa Group A

By Kevin Estrada

MANILA -- This time's not a fluke.

Davao Aguilas got another win on PFL champions Ceres Negros, but this time with much more significance after getting a 3-1 shocker to open Group A of the Copa Paulino Alcantara on Saturday night at the Rizal Memorial.

Melchor Anzures became the first manager to beat the Busmen more than once all season long, as they got the better of the shorthanded titlists in one of the marquee tiffs in the so-called Group of Death.

The champions had little in reply to the rampaging Davao squad, and Risto Vidakovic's touchline ban meant that Ian Treyes will have to carry managerial duties for the second match running.

Both sides showed their attacking intent right from the opening whistle, with the league champions first testing Patrick Deyto midway into the first half with two quick saves.

However, Davao's counterattacking plans bore fruit towards the end of the first half as two strikes in a two-minute span gave them a precious 2-0 lead at the break.

Matthew Hartmann used the outside of his signature left boot to beat Roland Müller on a 1v1 situation in the 38th minute and Jason De Jong was lucky to get away with a handball that led to Phil Younghusband doubling their lead nearly 120 seconds later.

However, Negros pulled one back in the second half from the spot, with Blake Powell hitting the bottom left corner of Deyto in the 54th minute to halve the deficit.

But that was all the champions had wrote in the match, when substitute Tahj Minniecon put the result beyond doubt in the 77th minute after pouncing on a defensive lapse on Muller and his backline.

Negros' day had gone from bad to worse soon afterwards, when Bienve Marañon saw red after headbutting Adam Tull in frustration.

Ceres Negros: Müller (GK), Aguinaldo, Super, Marañon, Manny Ott (Mulders HT), Schröck (Mike Ott 83') , Powell (Dizon 62'), Dutosme, Nazari, Steuble (C), Reichelt
unused subs - Sacapaño (GK), Barbaso, Muñoz, A. De Murga

Davao Aguilas: Deyto (GK), Hartmann, McDonald, De Jong, Phil YH (C), Hall (Clariño 84'), De Bruycker (Minniecon 68'), Tull, Gadia (Salenga 80'), Casambre, Wesley
unused subs - Bayan (GK), Cubon, Kim, Otomo

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada