By Ivan Saldajeno
LIPA--Ceres Negros escaped a stunning grit by Mendiola and scored a 5-2 win in the curtain-raiser of the PFL doubleheader at the Aboitiz Pitch on Saturday night.
The defending champion found itself trailing early on as Ricki Sendra scored a stunning opening goal in the 10th minute to put Mendiola ahead.
Robert Mendy restored order for Ceres Negros after scoring a hat trick in the 16th, 36th, and 44th minutes to give his club a 3-1 lead at halftime.
Mendiola once again started strong in the second half as Ash Flores scored in the 49th minute to bring his club to within one, 2-3.
However, Mendy answered with his fourth goal in the 55th minute, while substitute Bienve Maranon iced the game with a penalty right before the final whistle.
With the win, Ceres Negros, which now has 28 points after 10 matches, opened a six-point lead against Kaya Iloilo for the top spot in the league table.
Mendiola, on the other hand, remains at 10 points after 11 games.
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