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Laguna opens Copa bid with rout of Negros

By Ivan Saldajeno

BINAN--In a rare noontime kick-off and a late move to its usual playground, Stallion Laguna put Ceres Negros in a tough situation.

Laguna gave Negros a 3-0 beating in the lone Copa Paulino Alcantara match played on Saturday at the Binan Football Stadium.

Laguna quickly stepped on the gas early on and was rewarded with beautiful goals from Balut Doctora and Jhan-Jhan Melliza.

Doctora drew first blood for Laguna in the 24th minute as he picked up the ball after Roland Muller saved Carlo Polli's first try and drilled it inside the now wide-open goal.

Melliza then made it 2-0 in the 41st minute when he converted Yannick Tuason's low cross from the right side.

Melliza capped the rout with a 52nd minute goal off a through ball from injury substitute Fitch Arboleda.

Things went from bad to worse for Negros, which fell to 0-2 in the cup, as Super Herrera got a red card in the 68th minute off two yellows, meaning he will be out when both teams will face off again on Wednesday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.

On the other hand, the other scheduled match-up for Saturday between JPV Marikina and Global Cebu has been postponed due to Typhoon Ompong.

The ravaging storm actually prompted the Philippines Football League to move the Laguna-Negros match here and have it at an earlier kick-off.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno