Ceres Negros reclaims top spot after edging Kaya Iloilo in battle of champs

By Ivan Saldajeno

CARMONA--Defending PFL champion Ceres Negros prevailed over reigning Copa Paulino Alcantara winner Kaya Iloilo, 2-1, in a showdown between last year's club champs at the PFF National Training Centre on Wednesday.

Bienve Maranon's brace saved the cause for Ceres Negros, the designated home side, as the club survived a 10-man Kaya Iloilo side.

Kaya Iloilo had to play undermanned the rest of the way as Nano Amita, who came in for an injured Eric Giganto, appeared to have intentionally hit OJ Porteria late in the first half of the intense battle.

However, Jovin Bedic put the club ahead as he unfurled a rocket from the left flank in the 51st minute.

But Maranon silenced the Kaya Iloilo faithfuls as he slotted in a 68th minute goal from inside the penalty area for the 1-all deadlock.

Maranon quickly added the eventual game-winner for Ceres Negros in the 72nd minute

Although both clubs are now tied on points, the win catapulted Ceres Negros back to the top of the league table, owning the tiebreaker over Kaya Iloilo via a superior goal difference.

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