Ceres-Negros FC have been crowned the champions of Philippines Football League for the third successive season after a 3-1 win over Green Archers United at the Binan Football Stadium in Laguna on Saturday.
Filipino midfielder John Celiz had given the Green Archers a 1-0 lead against the league leaders in the 24th minute, but Ceres equalised early in the second half when Angélo Marasigan found the back of the net in the 50th minute.
The comeback was complete when a quick-fire brace from Bienvenido Maranon with goals coming in the 81st and 87th minutes gave the Busmen all three points from the game and an unassailable lead in the league table over the second-placed Kaya FC-Iloilo as the 2019 PFL season enters its final sets of matches.
Risto Vidakovic’s Ceres now have 56 points from 20 matches that include 17 wins and two draws while Kaya FC only have 50 points having played one match more — their 3-1 win over Stallion Laguna on Saturday not enough to deny their rivals clinching the title.
The win meant that Ceres are still unbeaten in the league this season also having set an all-time PFL record of winning 16 matches in succession.
Winning the PFL will also secure the Bacolod-based club a place in the 2020 AFC Champions League Preliminary Round 1. If they fail to qualify for the main event of the ACL 2020, Ceres will represent Philippines in the AFC Cup 2020.
Ceres-Negros had also won the first two editions of the Philippines Football League in 2017 and 2018.