(Photo courtesy of the Philippines Football League on Facebook)
MATCHES on SATURDAY, JUNE 3
4 p.m. – Ceres Negros vs Global Cebu (Panaad Stadium)
7 p.m. – Meralco Manila vs Davao Aguilas (Rizal Memorial Stadium)
BACOLOD CITY – Powerhouse Ceres Negros makes its home debut in the Philippines Football League when it hosts rival Global Cebu in what promises to be an explosive encounter on Saturday, even as Meralco Manila tries to extend its unbeaten start to four matches.
Just three days after conquering Malaysian champions Johor Darul Ta’zim to reach the AFC Cup Asean zonal finals, the Busmen resume their domestic campaign at 4 p.m. against a Global side still hurting from a semifinal exit in the AFC Cup last Tuesday.
The Sparks stake their perfect record against the Davao Aguilas in the 7 p.m. kickoff at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Meralco has enjoyed a sensational start under coach Aris Caslib, beating Stallion (5-1), Ilocos United (2-1) and JPV Marikina (1-0) to seize top spot. But they will be up against a dangerous Davao side, which is looking for its first win of the campaign.
The Aguilas only have a point to show from their first three matches, with their last match against Kaya Makati ending in a 0-2 defeat. Davao will miss skipper Jason Cordova due to suspension after he was sent off in the match against Kaya.
Nonetheless, Caslib isn’t looking past the Aguilas, who will also miss midfielder Andreas Esswein who is out due to an illness.
“This will be a tough match,” said Caslib, whose team’s eight goals so far have come from eight different players. “Our players must improve their organization in attack.”
Caslib pointed to Davao’s Serbian striker Nikola Grubješić and 19-year-old attacking midfielder Dylan De Bruycker as scoring threats for the Aguilas.
“We are confident that we are strong enough to beat Meralco,” said De Bruycker.
Ceres has beefed up its roster for the PFL with Stephan Schrock returning from Germany and the signing of Spanish winger Antonio Bello. Omid Nazari, who played for Global last season, also saw action for Ceres in the 1-1 draw against Kaya to start the season.
Global is in second spot with seven points, after beating Kaya, 3-1, last May 24 in a match where new signing Sekou Sylla bagged a brace.
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