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UFL leaderboard: 3-way tie looms

Defending champion Ceres-La Salle and the Loyola Meralco Sparks look to forge a three-way tie for the lead with idle Global when they face separate rivals today in the United Football League at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Loyola is expected to have an easier time against lowly Forza in the first game at 1:45 p.m. while Ceres can’t afford to relax against surprising JP Voltes, ranked fourth in the 12-team table, in the other match set at 4 p.m.

The two clubs are tied for second with 12 points apiece, three behind Global which leads the league after winning its first five matches.

Ceres and Loyola took advantage of their inferior foes last Wednesday, winning their matches by double digits.

A hat trick by Spanish striker Adrian Gallardo carried Ceres to a 10-0 thumping of Forza while Phil Younghusband also netted three in Loyola’s 11-0 defeat of MSA Agila.

The three goals should help Younghusband boost his confidence further after missing the UFL Cup and the early stages of the league competition due to a knee injury.

Star-studded Ceres, with Stephan Schrock and Manny Ott, among others, in tow, is bracing for a tough match with JP Voltes.

Voltes, a mixture of Filipino and Japanese players, is out to a surprising start with 10 points thanks to the leadership of former Global defender Yu Hoshide, who acts as the club’s playing coach.

Hoshide’s club, however, is coming off a scoreless tie with Stallion, a result that forced them to lose some ground in the race for the top spot.