BACOLOD CITY – Add one more historic feat for Ceres-Negros in a year already full of glorious moments.
Ruthless on the counterattack, the Busmen demolished rival Global Cebu, 4-1, last Saturday night to wrest the first Philippines Football League crown in front of a lively crowd at Panaad Stadium here.
National team standout Iain Ramsay delivered a hat trick after Spanish striker Bienvenido Maranon opened the scoring four minutes into the match as the Busmen came up with a performance to remember against a worthy foe.
The victory capped an impressive year for the Busmen, who also made history last August when they ruled the AFC Cup Asean zonal championship at the expense of Singapore’s Home United at Panaad.
The Busmen relied on quick counterattacks to pick apart a Global side that looked a step slow right from the get-go. For a change, Ceres allowed Global to settle into the match early before hitting the Cebu side on the counter.
Ramsay found space on the left before teeing up Maranon inside the area. The Spanish striker’s volley past Patrick Deyto not only opened the scoring, but gave the Ceres star his 22nd goal of the season.
Almost immediately, Global threatened with a long-range effort from Rufo Sanchez, whose shot rattled the crossbar.
Another quick counter in the 20th minute opened up a golden opportunity, this time, for Ramsay to tuck home from close range to double the lead.
Ramsay made it 3-0 on the night with another precise finish in the area as the Busmen moved on the cusp of glory.
Just after the hour mark, Ramsay grabbed his hat trick after he was set up by the returning Patrick Reichelt inside the area.
Daryl Roberts pulled a goal back for Global in the 89th minute, but it only delayed the inevitable as Ceres made history in front of more than 2,200 spectators that included Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta.