CARMONA – The players of the reigning Philippines Football League champion Ceres Negros dedicated their victory yesterday to club owner Leo Rey Yanson.
Two quickfire goals from Spanish striker Bienvenido Marañon propelled the Busmen to a come-from-behind 2-1 triumph over fierce rival Kaya Iloilo yesterday in a battle between PFL leaders at PFF Training Center here.
Kaya skipper Jovin Bedic opened the scoring with a spectacular 25-yardstrike past Roland Muller in the 52nd minute, but Marañon equalized in the 68th minute off a cross from Stephan Schrock. The winner came three minutes later as Marañon redirected Schrock’s cross at the backpost past Mike Casas.
But while the win lifted the Busmen to top spot ahead of Kaya on goal difference, Schrock said the result took extra significance because of the circumstances surrounding club owner Yanson.
“We all know that our owner and friend is having a hard time at the moment and I hope that we give him a 15-second smile on his face because he deserves it,” said Schrock, referring to Yanson, who was ousted by his four older siblings as president of the country’s biggest bus company, Vallacar Transit Inc., in a boardroom coup over the weekend.
"He’s been there for us not only as an owner or manager or benefactor. He was for the longest time for us, a friend almost like a dad to everyone as the club. We owe him.”
Yanson built the club from scratch in 2012, pouring his personal resources to transform Ceres from a provincial powerhouse into a continental force, winning the AFC Cup Asean zone two years ago.
The club’s future remains uncertain with Yanson embroiled in the battle for control over the company, but Schrock said the team is trying its best to remain focused on their goals this season.
"The uncertainty is a problem but we live in the present so today we had to win this game to give our owner a little smile and a little happiness back,” said Schrock.
"Saturday we will get the next three points against Air Force and soon. We go from day to day now.”*
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