WHEN Ceres Negros hits top form, it’s usually game over for its opponents.
Such was the case on Saturday afternoon as the visiting Busmen ran through the league leading Meralco Manila after getting a 7-0 win in the Philippines Football League at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
It was the second straight game where Ceres devoured an opponent with the same scoreline after giving Ilocos United the same beating last week.
Iain Ramsay led the carnage by becoming the third Ceres player after Fernando Rodriguez and Bienve Maranon to notch a hat-trick, scoring on the 36th, the 49th and the 74th minute to lead the Negros-side to their 19th point in nine games.
“Everything just came together for us in an attacking sense,” said Ramsay.
Rodriguez opened the scoring for the visitors with a beautiful volley off a Jeffrey Christiaens cross in the 17th minute. He got his brace four minutes later when Ramsay linked up with him out wide to give the visitors an early cushion.
That’s when Ramsay started to work.
Manny Ott found the pacey winger leaking out in the 36th minute and the former A-League stalwart made sure not to miss the opportunity as he sent a low ball past Florencio Badelic to make it three-nil before the half.
He continued to pummel the hapless Meralco defense in the final 45 minutes, scoring two more goals, with Stephan Schrock scoring in between of it in the 50th minute.
To make matters worse for the home side, Alvin Sarmiento mistimed the ball in injury time and sent it off the wrong way for an own goal.
With the win, Ceres Negros now goes up to third place going past JPV Marikina and Kaya Makati. Meralco, on the other hand, remained on top but suffered its first loss in 10 games. They have 23 points, leading the second running Global Cebu by just three.