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TNT claims QF bonus after rout of Ginebra

By Dugout Philippines

QUEZON CITY--TNT KaTropa came up with binges upon binges of baskets from the second quarter onward as the Texters shocked the Barangay Ginebra Kings with a 121-92 demolition that assured the team of a Top Four finish in the PBA Governors Cup eliminations.

The Texters put their best foot forward and dazzled past the Kings for a closing 8-3 win-loss card in the single-round-robin elims before a stunned crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Glen Rice Jr., Jason Castro, Troy Rosario and Kelly Williams delivered sterling games in this Petron Blaze Saturday Special, carrying the Texters to a breakaway victory that guaranteed them of a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals.

The worst scenario now for the Texters is a five-way logjam from first to fifth with the Meralco Bolts, the San Miguel Beermen, the NLEX Road Warriors and the Gin Kings at 8-3.

In such case, TNT may even take Top Spot because of big wins over the Bolts, the Road Warriors and the Gin Kings.

The 29-point blowout by the Texters and their earlier losses to the Beermen and to the Bolts put the Kings in danger of missing the Top Four.

The Kings suffered tremendous beating from TNT's torrid shooting led by Rice and Castro with six three-pointers each.

The TNT team sizzled with 17 treys in all as the Texters badly beat the Gin Kings from the second quarter onwards.

"We've always talked about everybody pitching in for us to be successful. I think today, the players were focused on the task and they were all ready to contribute," said TNT coach Nash Racela.

"It really helped us that we shot really well. If you shoot that way, you really have a good chance," added Racela.

Rice finished with a game-high 36 points, Castro ended up with a total of 28 while Rosario and Williams both collected double-double numbers, with the former putting in 15 points and 10 rebounds, and the latter adding 10 markers and 11 boards.

RR Pogoy was a fifth TNT player to finish in double figures with 15.

The Kings, meanwhile, made only six of 23 three-point tries, and they also drew paltry numbers from inside operators Greg Slaughter and Joe Devance.

The Texters built momentum late in the second quarter and pulled away on a series of runs in the second half.

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