DRAWING offensive punch from one of its top defenders, Kaya blanked Philippine Army, 4-0, to reclaim fourth place in the United Football League at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig on Tuesday night.
Thrust into central midfield anew after playing for most of the season as part of the back four, skipper Anton del Rosario scored for the second straight game, registering a brace this time to lead last year's runner-up, which improved to 24 points and moved two points ahead of Pachanga.
The Troopers remained in the bottom of the 10-team field and in danger of relegation.
"I'm used to playing defense, but I guess the coach just wanted a little bit more fight up on top, so he stuck me up there and I guess it's been working ever since," Del Rosario said. "I like it up there too, scoring goals. It's fun."
Diminutive dynamos OJ Porteria and Janrick Soriano added a goal apiece while Nate Burkey also shone by assisting on three of the goals of Kaya, which found ways to remain motivated despite already being out of the title picture.
Proving he has recovered from an ankle surgery last November that left him sluggish at the beginning of the season, Del Rosario drew first blood 10 minutes into the game, before Soriano, in a rare starting role, doubled the lead two minutes later.
Kaya sustained its spree in the second half, drawing a goal from Porteria just three minutes after the restart, before Del Rosario completed his two-goal effort in the 61st minute.
"It feels good that we're doing what we're used to doing, coming out winning by playing hard and playing tough," said Del Rosario, a former national team veteran.