CERES Negros routed Meralco Manila, 7-0, to hand the Sparks their first defeat in the Philippines Football League on Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Busmen, who clobbered Ilocos United by the same score last week, became the first team to stop the Sparks’ nine-game run—they entered the game with a seven-wins and two-draw record.
Iain Ramsay was sensational in their seven-goal win as he became the third Ceres player—after Fernando Rodriguez and Bienvenido Maranon—to register a hat trick.
The national team mainstay struck in the 36th, 49th and 74th minute that gave Negros a 6-0 lead.
Before Ramsay waxed hot, Rodriguez opened scoring for Ceres with two goals in a span of five minutes. He scored in the 17th and 21st minutes.
Another Philippine Azkals mainstay Stephan Schrock also found a brace in the 50th minute, just seconds after Ramsay’s second goal.
Meralco woke up on the wrong side of the bed, as Alvin Sarmiento added more frustrations to his team with an own goal in 91st minute.
Ceres now has 19 points in nine games moving up to the third place passing JPV Marikina and Kaya Makati, while Meralco still leads the match despite suffering its first loss in 10 games failing to boost its 23 points.
Global Cebu, on the other hand, failed to force a share of lead as it settled for a goalless draw with the Davao Aguilas, 0-0, at the Cebu City Sports Complex.
Global also failed to stay unscathed in its third home-court match, as it fired blanks from the field and settled for one point—its 21st point in 11 games—as the Aguilas managed to stop the heavily favored Cebuanos through the impressive goalkeeping of Marko Trkulja that gave Davao its fifth point on its fifth draw after 10 outings.