Global Cebu leaned on goals from Paolo Salenga and Pika Minegishi to hold off JPV Marikina, 2-1, and close in on a spot in the Final Series in the Philippines Football League on Sunday at Cebu City Sports Center.
Salenga, the former National U standout, scored in the third minute, before Minegishi doubled the advantage just four minutes after halftime as the Cebuanos survived a resilient display from the visitors to secure maximum points.
Over at Davao del Norte Sports Complex in Tagum City, the Davao Aguilas finally notched their first win with a 2-0 blanking of Ilocos United.
Australian striker Harrison Sawyer broke the deadlock in the 25th minute, before James Younghusband sealed the win with a 63rd minute strike for the Aguilas, who are teetering on the brink of elimination with just 11 points from 19 matches.
Ilocos remained in last place with seven points from 22 matches, which meant the newcomers from the North will miss out on a spot in the Finals Series featuring the Top Four teams at the end of the quadruple round league competition.
J Baguioro scored in the 52nd minute for JPV, raising hopes of a comeback. But Global, playing its first match after the international break, proved equal to every attack from the visitors in a thrilling second half.
The result meant Global stayed at fourth spot with 37 points, just a point behind Ceres Negros, which has played five less games than their Visayan rivals.